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1865 — 1915. 



Co-operative Corn Mill, 
Flour &- Provision Society 







Co-operative Wholesale Society's Printing Works. 




I N their perusal of this book, which I have had the 
•"^ honour of compihng, I ask the critics to be gentle 
in their criticism. The preparation of the whole 
work has been a heavy task, clue largely to the short 
time at my disposal in which to collect information and 
search records in order to have as complete and accurate 
a history as could reasonably be expected. I have read 
some 70,000 minutes; had endless interviews, here, there, 
and everywhere; collected photographs from this one 
and that one; and then have endeavoured to present the 
story of our Society's career in a simple style, and in a 
fairly exhaustive manner. 

With regard to the short history of the town and 
district, this is included in the hope that additional value 
and interest may be given, if possible, to the Society's 
Jubilee Souvenir. 

In the whole of the book I have ever kept the personal 
element in sight. It is a record of persons and not of 
sticks and stones. 

To the many who have so kindly assisted with valuable 
help and information I extend my sincere thanks. 

In conclusion, I pray that my readers may read it 
with the same enjoyment as lias been mine in the writing 
of the facts herewith presented. 

B. L. 



Krst Portion ... A Short History of the Town and 

District of Crook 9 


I. The First Movements 65 

II. Corn Mill to Co-operative Store 71 

III. First Premises inWheafcbottom-Mr.Hayton, 

First Manager appointed 89 

IV. The Hope Street Premises entered into 95 

V. The Corn Mill Effort falls through 104 

VI. Mr. Wm. Burnip engaged — A Branch opened 

at Waterhouses 108 

VII. Hovyden Branch commenced — Property in 

North Terrace purchased 123 

VIII. New Central Premises opened 132 

IX. Depression in Trade 144 

X. Central Premises again enlarged 153 

XL New Premises for Waterhouses — The 

Society's Investments 164 

XII. Miners' Strike — Public Auditor appointed — 

Testimonial to Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Burnip 177 

XIII. House Building Scheme introduced — Deaths 

of Mr. Wm. Burnip and Mr. T. Pedelty— 
Branches opened at Stanley, Ushaw Moor, 
Sunniside, and Willington 193 

XIV. Trade Unsatisfactory — A Waterhouses 

proposal — Education Classes — Mr. J. 
Lowther's retirement and death — Life 
Insurance Scheme adopted — Mr. C. Bawe 
appointed 212 

XV. General Statement — Tributes to OiEcials, 
Managers, &c. — Names of Auditors and 
Committees 231 



Central Premises, Crook Frontispiece 

Parish Church, Howden-le-Wear 13 

Inhabitants of Crook pnlhng down Fence on Crook Market 

I'lace, about 1862 37 

Parish Church , Crook 45 

Church Street, Military Row, and Railway Station 60 

Past President, 1915 66 

First Secretary 71 

Pioneers (1) 76 

Pioneers (2) 77 

Pioneers (3) 80 

Pioneers (4) 81 

Pioneer and Treasurer, 1865 to 1905 84 

First Shop in Whcatbottom 91 

Late Jtanager ( Watorhouses Branch) 96 

Central Drapery JManager 97 

Second Shop in Hope Street 100 

Past Secretary and Manager, 1866 to 1906 109 

Manager (Waterhouses Branch) 117 

Committee and Officials, 1871 121 

Present Secretary 125 

Howden-le-Wear Branch 128 

Slaughter-house and Shop (Central) and Slaughter-house 

(Waterhouses Branch) 129 

Accountant 133 

Employees at Central Stores, 1875 135 

(General Manager, 1907 to 1913 137 

Waterhouses Branch 160 

Church, Schools, and Colliery, Waterhouses 161 

Employees at Waterhouses Branch, 1887 169 

Old Employees 172-173 

Professional Auditor to the Society, 1895 to 1915 179 

ILLUSTRATIONS— con^muerf. 


President, Committee, Treasurer, and Manager, 1895 182 

President, Committee, Treasurer, and Manager, 1896 183 

Mrs, William Burnip 185 

President, Committee, Treasurer, and Manager, 1898 188 

President, Committee, Treasurer, and Manager, 1899 189 

President, Committee, Treasurer, and Manager, 1904'. 195 

Branches 200-201 

Managers 202-203 

Departmental Managers, Central 206 

Departmental Managers, Waterhouses 207 

Manageresses 208 

Departmental Managers and Old Employees 209 

President, Committee, Treasurer, and Slanager, 1911 214 

President, Committee, Treasurer, and Manager, 1913 215 

Cashiers and Clerk 219 

General Manager, 1914 223 

Present General Manager 225 

Jubilee Committee 228-!2'29 

Part of Present Comjnittee 233 

Past Presidents 242-243 

Past Presidents 246 

Past Auditors 247 

Author of Historv 252 


Corn Mill, Flour and Provision Society 




I|_* EFORE proceeding with our account of the doings 
« •*- ' of the Co-operative Society, we present to our 
readers a short history of the town of Crook and 

Writing up a history of our immediate locality is a 
hard task, due to a variety of reasons, which include the 
peculiar position of the town — or village, as it formerly 
was — occupied, inasmuch as it had a connection with 
both the ancient parishes of Brancepeth and St. Andrew's, 
Bishop Auckland. With each of these it was, to some 
considerable extent, closely interwoven, and this has 
militated somewhat against a running sequence of records 
being procurable. 

The fact that certain valuable records, though still 
in existence, are not obtainable, is also a big drawback 
to the would-be historian's efforts. The birth, or at 
least the naming of the jjlace, is lost in an antiquitj- 
which it is safe to assert will never be probed. 

10 Historij of Crook and District. 

We are not supposed to be living in a town possessed 
of a long and ancient record, but all around we find 
abundance of evidence that not only was the district 
known to the Romans, but it was also more or less a 
resting valley for the Britons of 2,000 years ago. We 
can judge of this latter being the case when we visit 
Helm Park, near Tow Law, and see the remains of earth- 
works, known as the Scots' Dyke, or Catrail. " This 
dyke is a huge piece of prehistoric engineering, and 
consisted originally of a ditch, or trench, from three to 
five yards wide, formed by the throwing-out of soil on 
the east side to a height above the trench bottom of, 
in some cases, six or eight feet. The length of this 
earthwork through the county touches about thirty 
miles ; and from its supposed termination near Gala- 
shiels, in Selkirk, to the great entrenchments of Maiden 
Castle, near Reeth, in Swaledale, it is over one hundred 
and twenty miles long. It is, perhaps, permissible to 
suggest that, as so long a line could never, by any means 
then or now available, be defended, a territorial boundary 
out somewhat deeply for the sake of permanence, might 
well, in the course of centuries, and because it formed a 
clear path through the dense woods and undergrowth, 
have become a regular highway." 

This information has been gleaned from Mr. J. E. 
Hodgson's admirable book, Durham. 

The whole district at that period was practically one 
vast forest, where various kinds of wild animals, includ- 
ing wild boar and wolf, red and fallow deer, badgers, 
otters, foumarts, stoats, weasels, etc., roamed of their 
own sweet will, and were seldom disturbed by the hunter. 
What is now our Market Place, from time immemorial 
was a resting-place for sheep, but no direct evidence of 
the kind of people who populated the place has ever 
been found. Of the Roman occupation of the district 
there is everywhere abundant proof, though none exists 
in the town itself. 

On the west side of the town, at High Woodifield Farm, 
there was probably a Roinan building on the site where 

History of Crook and District. 11 

the farm now stands. About the year 1180, this be- 
longed to the Amundeville family of Woctona, or 
Wotton, or Witton. In the Feodarium Prioratus Dun- 
elmensis it is mentioned as Wod3rfeld, Wodynfeld, and 
Wudingfeledd. Robert de Amundevyle gave it to the 
Prior and Convent of Durham, the deed being witnessed 
by Archidicano Dunelmi et Carleslensi, Domino Gille- 
berto Hannsard, Jordano Esooulcennd, Roberto de 
Waterville, Rogero Dandri, Petro Harpin, and many 
others. In 1244 the Abbot and Convent of Blanchland 
held the rights from the Prior of Durham in soccage of 
one toft and eleven acres of land, of which seven acres 
join this croft, and seventeen acres join the same assart ; 
and they yield thence per year 13s. 4d. The monks of 
Blanchland were Premonstratensians, or Norbertines, 
a severely ascetic religious order founded in 1120 at 
Premontre, in France. There is still a community of 
these monks in Essex. In England they have always 
been mostly described as " The White Canons," owing 
to their attire, which consists of a white robe. The 
Woodifield place would be in the nature of a tithe barn, 
though we can rightly surmise it was much used by the 
monks for services. In fact — judging from the old 
building — they must also have lived there, for one of 
the rooms has every evidence of having formerly been 
a chapel. There was also a belfry, and a cross on the 
east side. The latter was still to be seen iip to about 
1840. The east windows are lancet laced, of the Norman 
square type. Although many alterations have recently 
been made, it is still worthy of a visit from those inter- 
ested in ancient history. It is now the property of 
Mrs. Stobart, Harperly Hall. 

It is, however, on the east where the Romans were 
very prominent. Stonechester Farm lies just over 
Dovefold, or Dowfold Hill ; and from this farm it is 
interesting to know that a tunnel runs underground, 
right through the hill to what we know as " Hole-in-the- 
Wall " Farm. Probably this work is of Roman origin, 
and may have been a great helj) to them in enabling a 

12 History of Crooh and District. 

fine view of the valley to be secured without running 
anjr risk of being seen by any enemy. 

Jumping over a space of seveyal centuries, only pausing 
to note that no mention of Crook is to be found in the 
famous Boldon Book, compiled in 1183, we reach the time 
of Bishop Hatfield's Survey, which was made between 
1377 and 1380. This informs us that " John Barker, 
of Wodingfield, held the manor of Wodingfield, con- 
taining forty acres, and rendering twenty shillings." 
This Wodingfield is the High Woodifield previously 
mentioned, and at other times was referred to as Wodyn- 
feld and Wodyfal. The latter name we find in the inquis- 
ition post mortem (inquiry after death) taken at Durham, 
19th November, 1425, before William de Menevyll, 
High Sheriff, in which it is stated that " Ralph Neville, 
first Earl of Westmoreland, had died, seised (or poss- 
essed) of (amongst other lands, etc.) twenty messuages 
and four hundred acres of land, forty acres of meadow, 
and twenty thousand acres of moor land and pasture, 
with forest of Brauncepath, with Cruyk and one water- 
mill there, of the total value of £12 ; 
of two messuages, and one hundred acres of land, with a 
mine of coal in Wodyfal, of the total value of forty 
shillings ; 

of the manor and vill of Stanley and Billyraw, of the 
total value of forty shillings ; 

of the manor of Wollyhall (Wooley Hall), of the value 
of forty shillings." 

A paragraph such as the foregoing will doubtless be 
of great interest to local miners, who again and again 
have wondered as to when coal mining first commenced 
in the district. The mine at Woodifield would not be 
worked as such as would constitute it to be called a 
" pit." Rather was it an outburst of coal, which we 
know does or has existed there, which would be drawn 
on purely for the requirements of the houses then existing 
near High Woodifield, or Cold Knott. It can, however, 
safely be assumed that some sort of a coUierj' was in 

Hisinitj of Croiik and l>/sliicl. 


existence in the year 1600, for, nn an old deed of that 
date touching certain lands, that particular part of the 
district is shown on the plan, and marked '" Cole 2>itts." 

Referring again to the inquisition, Me note the name 
of t'ruyk. This is the first mention we find of Crook 
in the records. It is named in other periods as Croke, 
Croyke, and Crooke. How the town came to be so 
named is not known. Krokr (Icelandic), Krok (Swedish), 
Cruc (Anglo-Saxon), Crwg (Welsh), and Krooke (Danish), 
all mean " crooked '"; and the suggestion has been made 
that "' Crook is the crook or bend in the river." This 
derivation is, however, hardly feasible, especially in 
view of the fact that we have no river within a reasonaljle 
radius. The Bitehbnrn can only be termed a Ijrook or 
beck. More likely it is that the town derived its name 
from a personal name, and such a name as Crok was nsed 
in 1183, for near by us, in Wolsingham, one Walter Crok 
held six acres of land. Mention is also made in 1377 of 
Petri de Croke. The meaning, however, is verv obscine, 
and «e must leave it to future possiljilities. 

l'.\l;ISH (.'HUKCil, iiir, 

With regard to the Bitchbui'n Beck, the name is of 
great antiquity, as away ))ael<; to the time of Edward I. 
(A.D. 127i to 1307) there was resident liei'eal)outs one 

14 History of Crook and District. 

Hugone de Bycheborne. By some etymologists, " Bitch- 
burn " is derived from " Beeohburn," and by others from 
" Birchburn," from the trees which, it is said, formerly 
grew on its banks. We suggest it as more probable that 
beeches were common trees in these parts seven hundred 
years ago. There are, however, other possibilities of the 

Continuing our way through the records, we find the 
following are the most important references : — 

24th December, 1484. — Inquisition post mortem of 
Ralph, second Earl of Westmoreland, taken at Durham. 
" Land with forest at Brauncepath with Crook ; land 
and coalmines in Wodyfield ; manor and vill of Stanley 
and Billerawe ; manor of Wolleyhall "; to his nephew, 
Ralph Lord Neville, aged twenty-four, his heir. 

16th June, 1498. — Inquisition jDost mortem of Ralph, 
third Earl of Westmoreland, taken at Durham. " A 
tenement called Croke (a watermill in Brancepeth) ; 
land, tenements, and coalmines in Wodyfield ; manors 
of Stanley, Billirowe, and Willeyhall, and lands and 
tenements there "; to his grandson, Ralph Neville, aged 
sixteen, his heir. 

27th June, 1549. — Inquisition ad inquirendum of 
Ralph, Earl of Westmoreland : "A tenetnent called 
Croyke ; manors of Stanley, Billerawe, and WillehauUe, 
and lands and tenements there ; land, tenements, and 
coalmines in Woddey feyld "; his son Henry, aged 
twenty-four, his heir. 

28th August, 1564. — Inquisition taken at Durham of 
Henry, Earl of Westmoreland : " Lands, tenements, and 
coalmines in Woddyfield ; manor and vill of Crooke ; 
manor and vill of Stanley, Byllerawe, and Billyhall "; 
his son Charles, aged twenty-one, his heir. 

9th March, 1620.— Durham. Will of Charles Wrenn : 
" Lands in Billiehall and Billie Rawe, to his eldest son, 
Linleius, and his heirs male, with remainder to his other 
sons Charles and Henry, and remainder over to his own 
right heirs." 

History of Crook and District. 15 

15th August, 1621. — Inquisition post mortem of 
Charles Wrenn, taken at Durham : " Land called 
Woodyfeild in Billie Rawe ; land and tenements of 
Billiehall, Billie Rawe, and Crooke, in the parish of 
Brancepeth, part of the forfeited possessions of Charles, 
Earl of Westmoreland, held of the Prince of Wales "; 
his son, Linleius Wrenn, aged twenty, his heir. 

From the earliest times Crook and Billy Row have 
always been connected with each other for parochial 
purposes ; in fact, Billy Row, up to almost the middle 
of the last century, was by far the most important of the 
two places, and the thoroughfare starting near the 
" King's Head," in Hope Street, was, up to 1860, known 
legally as " Billy Row Lane "; whilst, locally, this 
particular part of our town was called " Black Lonning." 

Billy Row has vindergone many changes so far as its 
peculiar name goes — a name which, if we remember 
rightly, once caused much laughter in the House of 
Commons, on an occasion when it was used in the recital 
of an Act relating to Crook and Billy Row. It is, 
undoubtedly, derived from " Will-o'-the-Raw," who lived 
in the fourteenth century. By several conveyances in 
that period, it appears that Cornsay, under the distinc- 
tion of Cornsey Row, gave a local name to its possessor, 
among whom we find Will-o'-the-Raw and Dionesia-o'- 
the-Raw. They held a moiety of the manor of Cornsey 
bj^ homage and fealty, and the twentieth part of a 
knight's fee, paying two shillings yearly at the Bishop's 
Exchequer. The estate descended to Agnes, a sister to 
Will-o'-the-Raw, and this lady married John Emerson, 
of Stanley. Will-o'-the-Raw later became Bill-o'-the- 
RaA\', then Billie Raw, and by other changes eventually 
arrived at its present name of Billy Row. 

Billy HaU was also a place of no small importance, 
as, on the occasion of Flowers' Visitation (Heraldic), 
taken at Bishop Auckland, on Friday, 29th of July, 1576, 
mention is made of Anthony Wrenn, Billyhall. 

16 History of Crook and District. 

In 1569 an annual pension of forty shillings was paid 
to the Rector of the Church of the South Bailey, Durham 
(St. Mary-the-Less), by ancient custom, out of the rents 
of the lands of Crook and Billyraw, formerly part of the 
possessions of Charles, Earl of Westmoreland, attainted 
of treason. 

In the rebellion of 1569, which was an attempt to 
re-estabhsh the Catholic religion, nine persons joined 
from Elmyden Rawe (Helmington Row), and two were 

In the reign of King James I. (1603-1625), the Wrenns 
became proprietors of much land in the Newton Cap 
district ; and, following the downfall of Ralph, Earl 
of Westmoreland, a portion of his estates, including 
Binchester, Willington, Crook, and Billy Row, were 
mortgaged by Charles I. (1625-1649) to the Goldsmiths' 
Company, London, from whom the four townships 
already named, with all their rights and royalties, were 
purchased by Mr. Wrenn, for the sum of £2,000 ! 

Durham County was visited in 1615 by Sir Richard 
St. George, when one hundred and thirty-nine families 
registered their pedigrees, including William Coigniers, 
Wooley ; William Trotter, Helmedon ; and Francis 
Greene, Bichborne. 

Judging from a dated stone in the building. Old White 
Lea Farm was built in the year 1661. About six years 
ago, whilst inside alterations to the house were being 
carried out, the workmen discovered a very neat secret 
chamber, adjacent to the main chimney, the existence 
of which had never been suspected. 

Red House Farm is also very old, and it is interesting 
to note that a fore-elder of Mr. Wm. Pallister, J. P., 
" The Laurels," held the ownership of it two hundred 
years ago. The farm changed hands, and now again, 
after a lapse of two centuries, the pro]Derty has come into 
the possession of relatives of Mr. Palhster. 

In 1709 much of the land in Foundry Fields district 
was owned by John Well and Richard Wailes. and, 
afterwards, Robert Spearman became the owner. 

History of Crook and Di.Uiict. J 7 

About the year 1700 a traveller, journeying from 
Wolsingham to Durham, lost his way in a storm whilst 
crossing the fell behind Stanley Church, and was after- 
wards found dead. 

On July 11th, 1773, on the Billy Row common green, 
William Dickinson, a boy aged fifteen, whilst playing at 
long bowl, was struck on the head by the ball and killed. 

For the maintenance of Russell's Almshouses and 
Schools at Cornsay, an indenture, dated October 22nd, 
1811, was made, in which Wm. Russell, Esq., Brancepeth 
Castle, granted to certain trustees the house and farm 
called " Billy Hall," containing 259 acres 2 roods, for a 
term of 10,000 years. 

Roddymoor is also a place which has suffered a con- 
siderable change of name, for, originally, its title was 
the distinctive one of " Rhodamore Gate." Wheat- 
bottom is in some records referred to as Whitebottom ; 
whilst we have also seen in a deed the description, 
" Wheatbottom or Houndsletch." 

Perhaps one of the most incorrectly named of our 
local parts is that of Job's Hill ; for, in 1632, John Laxe, 
yeoman, Westerton, became the owner for a term of 
ninety-nine years, of a tenement or farm in Helmelan- 
draw, alias Helmedenraw, called Jope's Hill. The 
witnesses to this deed were Nicholas Bealke, John 
Dontgrearte, William Mitchell, Cuthbert Atkinson, 
Stephen Cockey, Anthony Jackson, and Joseph Laxe. 
The owners then were Launcelotte Holtby and J. 
Cholmely. Subsequently John Laxe, in 1644, made a 
grant in fee to John Greenwell, a name which has always 
ranked more or less with the town and district. The 
witnesses to the deed were Anthony Walton, Thomas 
Richardson, and George Hey. Descendants of John 
Greenwell are still resident in the town ; whilst John 
Laxe was, in all probability, a fore-elder of the Lax 
family, whose connections and interests — at any rate 
for the past century — ^have been with the town. George 
Lax was a shoemaker in 1827, and resided in Military 

18 History of Ciooh and District. 

Row, at that time called " Ratten Row." Mr. George 
Lax, painter, Gladstone Street, was born in that row, 
as also was Mrs. Addison, St. Mary's Avenue, who died 
in the course of the present year. 

We have seen that the first mention of Crook was in 
1425, in connection with a water-mill. This was situated 
near the "Balaclava " Inn, and stood the test of time for 
over four hundred years. The place where the mill-race 
ran can still be seen, and many of our older townspeople 
have recollections of seeing the mill working some sixty 
odd years ago. 

From about the year 1600, the township generally 
was owned by the Wrenn family, who resided at Bin- 
chester "Hall. By an Act of Parliament in 1764, in the 
fourth year of George III., the common of Crook and 
Billy Row, containing 1,500 acres, was divided. One- 
sixteenth part was reserved to Farrer Wrenn, as compen- 
sation for right of soil, etc. His right to royalties was 
also respected, but satisfaction was to be awarded for 
damages. Provision was also made for saving to Wm. 
Belasye his right as Lord of the Manor of Brancepeth. 
The division of the common resulted in the following 
holding the land, which was mostly situate in a semi- 
circle, working from the Willington, or Helmington Row 
road, round by Billy Hall Farm, White Lea. West 
Roddymoor, to the Woodifield Road : — Farrer Wrenn, 
Esq.; William Campbell, Esq.; Edward Stewart, Esq. ; 
William Atkinson, Esq. ; Richard Taylor, Esq. ; William 
Cornforth, Esq. ; Thomas Hodgson, Esq. ; Matthe^^- 
Ornsby, Esq. ; Thomas Pickering, Esq. ; William 
Hodgson, Esq. ; Mrs. Marley ; William Spearmint, 
Esq. ; John Croudace, Esq. ; Matthias Ovington, Esq.- ; 
Timothy Haxland, Esq. ; Ann Poster ; John Greenwell, 
Esq. ; H. Storey, Esq. ; William Stobbs, Esq. : and 
The Right Hon. the Dowager Countess and the Earl of 

Afterwards the principal part of the land in the tt)\vn- 
ship became, by successive purchases, vested in the 

History of Crook and District. 19 

Russells, of Brancepeth ; R. D. Shafto, Esq., M.P., Whit- 
worth ; George H. Wilkinson, Esq., and Ralph Walters, 
Esq. In the course of the last half-centviry, the owner- 
ship has again much changed ; Messrs. Pease and 
Partners Limited owning a considerable portion. 

White Lee and Roddymoor Pits were formerly the 
property of Ralph Walters, Esq. 

About the year 1800, High Woodifield Colliery belonged 
to Mrs. Pearson. It was ten fathoms deep, and employed 
six men. The output of coals was about 2,200 chaldrons, 
or about 2,800 tons annually. Bitchburn Colliery, at 
the same time, belonged to the Bishop of Durham, and 
was fifteen fathoms deep. It employed six men, and the 
output was 2,600 chaldrons, or about 3,315 tons per 

Coming to the year 1801, we can imagine that the 
township was not over-run with a teeming populace. 
It has been said that in that year there was one inn, one 
blacksmith's shop, and one farm ; but this is obviously 
incorrect so far as the farms went, for there would then 
be one behind the present Church Institute, another 
■\vhere the " Royal " Hotel now stands, and others in 
North Terrace, Hope Street, and Commercial Street ; 
all of which places, of course, had not then been so named. 

The population in 1801 numbered 193 persons. There 
^\eve 36 houses, occupied by 40 families, and 30 of the 
families were chiefly employed in agriculture. In 1811 
there were 176 persons ; but bv 1821 this number was 
increased to 228, made up of 125 males and 103 
females. In 1831 there was again a drop to 200, 
and then a rush commenced, for, by 1841, there 
was a population of 538. The next ten years saM' 
Crook making history rapidly ; and by 1851 the 
number of inhabitants was 3,946, of which 2,211 were 
males and 1,735 females. The scarcitj' of the latter 
was accounted for by the fact that the demand for houses 
could not be met, and miners had to take lodgings. In 
1841 there were 88 inhabited houses, 19 uninhabited. 

20 History of Ciook and District. 

and 8 building. In 1851 there were 706 inhabited houses, 
16 uninhabited, and 1 building. The great increase of 
population was responsible for a re-arrangement of the 
parish's ancient connection with Brancepeth ; and, on 
January 13th, 1845, Crook and Billy Row were made a 
parochial chapelry, with an area of 4,008 acres. 

Referring back to 1827, we note that the Wolsingham 
and Durham post carriers passed through Crook. Per- 
sons anxious to enjoy the luxury of receiving or posting 
a letter had to walk to the toll house at the Harperly 
four road ends. 

The chief residents in the parish were : — 
John Emeeson, blacksmith, Crook. 
Elizabeth Pawoett, corn miller. Crook. 
George Hodgson, tailor, Crook. 
George Linton, blacksmith, farrier, and licensed 

victualler, " Horse Shoe " Inn, Crook. 
John Linton, shopkeeper and victualler, " Bay 

Horse," Crook. 
William Sherraton, schoolmaster. Crook. 
Mark Spbnce, joiner and oartwright. Crook. 
John Wilson, joiner, Crook. 
Joseph Gardiner, farmer. Crook. 
Earrar Morson, farmer. Crook. 
John Alderson, farmer, White Lee. 
William Alderson, farmer, Billy Row. 
Mary Balsh, Watergate Farm. 
John Forster, farmer, Stanley. 
Joseph Hall, farmer, Mown Meadows. 
William Hall, farmer. Mown Meadows. 
James Nattrass, farmer, Billy Row. 
Robert Proud, farmer, North Side. 
William Richardson, farmer, Crook. 
Edward Taylor, farmer, Sunniside. 
Thomas Thompson, farmer, Billy Hall. 
John Thompson, farmer, Billy Row. 
William Vasby, farmer, Billy Row. 
John Welsh, farmer, Dicken House. 

History of. Craoh. and District. 21 

Wm. Dawson, cartwright and joiner, Hole-in-the- 

John Haeeison, yeoman, Job's Hill. 
Joseph Kiekley, shoemaker, Crook. 
Gboege Lax, shoemaker. Crook. 
John Coatbs, farmer, Helmington Row. 
John Feench, farmer, Helmington Row. 
Wm. Dowell, farmer, Helmington Row. 
Thos. Lindsay, farmer, Helmington Row. 
Anthony Watt, farmer, Woodifield. 

In 1837 the Overseers were : — Farrar Morson and 
Thomas Thompson ; and the occupiers were : — Rector 
of Brancepeth, Christopher Wilkinson, Thomas Thomp- 
son, James Nattrass, Thomas Hall, Jonathan Hall, 
John Angus, Farrar Morson, John Linton, John Richard- 
son, Wm. Alderson, John Wilson, John Willans, E . Taylor, 
T. AUanson, Rob. Proud, John Alderson, John Thomp- 
, son, Wm Wailes, Ralph Hutchinson, Mary Balsh, 
Thomas Walker, Thos. Wilkinson, T. Richardson, sen., 
Wm. AUanson, G. Chapman, G. Linton, Jno. Emerson, 
Wm. Lax, George Craggs, and'Wm. Brown. 

In 1839 there were fifteen thatched houses in the village 
of Crook. Of the local collieries, the West Emma Pit 
was won in 1846, and the West Lucy and the West 
Edward Pits in 1849. Over five hundred coke ovens 
were quickly in operation. The coal and coke were sent 
by the line then known as the Stockton and Darlington 
Railway, which, at Crook, had four lines of rails. Fire- 
bricks were made, also various kinds of pipes. During 
a dispute between the owners and the workmen, in 
November, 1853, the score prices offered for hewing were 
fixed by the employers at eight shillings per score at 
Peases West, ten shillings first price at Adelaide, and 
twelve shillings at South Durham. 

* " Whilst touching on these collieries, it may interest 
the many miners who are resident in the district to j)eruse 

* From " Dipton," by J. AV. Fawcett, Esq., Satley. 


History of Crook and District. 

the following, from a copy of an old pay sheet belonging 
to the " Moor Machine Pit, or Pontop Pike Colliery." It 
covered the fortnight between the 21st November and 
4th December, 1786, and may be taken as a sample of 
the prices which at that period prevailed in the county : 

" Pit ' hnng on ' on Wednesday, 21st November, 
and was idle on Saturday, 24th November, and again 
on Tuesday, 27th November, and (of course) on 
Sundays, 25th November and 2nd December. 

" Total days worked, 10. Days' work for horses 
— first week, 56 ; second week, 84. 

" Total weight of coals drawn — first week, 86 
scores 3 corves ; second week, 120 scores 7 corves. 
Total — 207 scores for 10 days. 

" Total number of hewers employed — 30. 


" Hewing 42 scores, at Is. lOd. per score. 3 17 

" Hewing 165 scores, at 2s. per score 16 10 

" Making 41| yards of headings, at 8d. 

each 1 7 8 

" Making 15 yards of narrow work, at 2d. 

each 2 6 

" Hewing 24 scores and 10 corves of small 

coal, at 2s. 6d, a score 3 1 3 

" Turning 7 bords at 9d 5 3 

" Consideration for strong coals and 

troubles 5 2 

" Total for hewing £25 8 10'' 

Dividmg the hewing bill amongst thirty hewers makes 
an average of 17s. 5d. per man. There were sixteen 
drivers, and their bill amounted to £6 3s. Od. They 
were paid lOd. per day. When a hewer was employed to 
drive, he was paid Is. 2d. per day. The overman ^vas 

History of Crook and District. 23 

paid b}' piecework, at 5Jd. per score. As he accounted 
for 297 scores, his bill for the 10 days amounted to 
£4 10s. 6fd. 

Amongst other payments were : — £ g ^ 

"' For sledding 20 scores, at l|d. per 

score, and 3s. odds 1 13 2^ 

'" Driving 150 yards of level, at l|d. per 

yard 18 9 

■ ■ Leaden watter to the South-east 1 

' Corving 207 scores, at 51d. per score .. 4 14 10| 
"" Wahng and sholing (screening and 

shovelling), 30 days at lOd 1 5 0" 

The following was the " waling and sholing " account 
at the Pontop Pike Colliery for the pay following the 
above, namely, that from 8th December to 22nd Decem- 
ber, 1786. Both boys and girls were employed at the 
work :— £ g_ d. 

■ Matthew Anderson, 12 days at lOd. . . 10 

"" Isabella OsweU, 11 days at 6d 5 6 

'" Ann Robinson, 4 days at 4d 1 4 

" At the East Pit :— 

"" Sarah Irwin, 8 days at 6d 4 

•■ Mary Naisby, 4 days at 6d 2 

" Roger Oxley, 9 days at lOd 7 6 

"■ Ann Robinson, 3 days at 4d 1 0" 

It will be interesting to compare these prices of 1786 
with those of the present year, 1915 — one hundred and 
twenty-nine years later. 

The conditions of coal-mining over a century ago were 
altogether different from what they are now. All the 
miners were bound from year to year, and the binding 
period generally existed for a twelve months — from the 
18th of each October. These conditions existed until 
the year 1809, when the colliery owners wished to change 

24 Hifitory of Crook and District. 

it to the 21st of January. On their trying to enforce it, 
in the year named (1809), a long strike ensued, which 
ended in a compromise ; and the binding period com- 
menced on the 6th day of April, 1810, and so continued 
— usually from the Saturday nearest the 21st of March — 
until its extinction in 1872. 

It is to the credit of the County of Durham that, 
although girls were employed " at bank," as has been 
shown, on no occasion were females employed under- 
ground ; so the Act of Parliament which prohibited 
their employment in other parts of the kingdom after the 
1st of March, 1843, had not to apply to Durham. 1843, 
it may be noted, was the year in which Shetland ponies 
were first introduced to take the place of the putter lads 
ia the mines." We have heard old miners speak of the 
terrible hardships which they had to endure about sixty 
years ago, but these were mild compared to the out- 
rageous conditions of one hundred and twenty years ago ; 
more especially amongst the boys. A boy at that period 
went to work at two o'clock on Monday morning, and 
did not again reach his home till between eight and ten 
o'clock at night, entirely exhausted. He would again 
repair to work next morning at the same hour, half 
asleep, and sometimes half naked. This continued 
through the week. He would not see much daylight 
from Sunday till the next Sunday arrived. 

The older pitmen had many peculiar characteristics. 
Their dresses were of velveteen, with large and shining 
metal buttons. They delighted in gaudy colours, and 
their " best " waistcoats, called by them posey- jackets, 
were frequently of very curious patterns, displaying 
flowers of various hues. Their stockings were blue, 
purple, pink, or mixed colours. Many had their hair 
very long, which, on week days, was either tied in a 
queue, or rolled up in curls ; but when dressed in their 
" best," it was commonly spread over their shoulders. 
Some of them — probably the " knuts " — wore two or 
three' narrow ribbons round their hats, placed at equal 

History of Crook and District. 25 

distances, in which it was customary to insert one or 
more bunches of primroses or other flowers. 

Mr. Mark Simpson, the High Cold Knott veteran, who 
is now ninety-one years old, and has known Crook all 
his life, says that, about seventy years ago, when he 
worked at the Cold Knott Colliery, it took a good mail, 
working thirteen or fourteen hours a day, to make 3s. 6d. 
or 4s. a day. The men started at three o'clock in the 
morning and worked till tea-time. The coals ^vere 
fairly given away. A ton could be bought for Is. 6d. ; 
whilst for Is. 9d. the coal leader would fill the cart with 
small coal, and then pack up the sides and top " Avi' 

Mr. Simpson, when he was thirteen years old, worked 
at the old Crook Mill. He had to tour the district on a 
donkey, delivering " bakings " to the various small 
millers round about. At that time there were eighteen 
or twenty houses. There were five in Ratten Row, an 
old brick house on coming into Wheatbottom, and a 
little red-tiled one beside it. There were no more till 
the " Horse Shoe " was reached. 

Behind where the Church Institute now stands, was 
Mr. Farrar Morson's black thatched house — " Moat 
Farm "; then there was the old schoolhouse — being all 
that was on that side. In Commercial Street, there was 
a thatched house, and a red-tiled one beside it, where 
Old Buckram used to live. Then there was John Emer- 
son's, the blacksmith, and John Linton's public house, 
with another house near by. A little further was 
another black thatched house, where John Thompson 
lived ; and then the Mill House, where Mr. Simpson 
himself resided. Where now is Hope Street was a 
country lane, and a very narrow one too, with hardly 
sufficient room for a cart to get along, and with over- 
hanging branches from either side. He also remembers 
the races which were held on Dovefold Hill, which every 

26 History of Crook and District. 

person in the district attended. Part of a song about 
the races, which was commonly sung, ran : — 

" Ha'e ye been up at Dovefold Hill ? 

Did ye see Franky Horner, man ? 
As proud a tyke as ever bet a gill, 

As ever look'd out at morn, man. 
He had a wee bit bonny nag. 
Could jump and skip like any stag ; 
But Franky, man, the' mun'na brag, 
A three-mile heat will mak' him lag. 

And put him past his corn, man. 
Then all the Hunwiok rebels came up, 

And a champion band they were, man ; 
Buckram cussed and swore to their face. 

Their heart to Billy Row, man." 

The " postman '' was a middle-aged lady, of the name 
of Kate Hodgson. She lived at Wolsingham, and passed 
through Crook on her way to Durham every day for the 
letters, walking back with them in the evening. This 
" little stroll," of somewhere near thirty -four miles, she 
kept up daily for several years. Weddings were great 
occasions, and the bride and bridegroom usually rode to 
church on ponies, and afterwards the guests had a donkey 
race for a white ribbon. Evidently they were of the 
" good old times," but we are still pondering over that 
" thirty-four mile stroll." 

Hope Street, the town's main thoroughfare, was in all 
probability named through the Hope family, the descend- 
ants of which are still resident in the town. Previously 
it had been known as the " Black Lonning," and where 
is now the "King's Head" was then a black and slimy 
pool. Where the " Royal" Hotel now stands, was a farm 
known as " Morgan's Farm." It is, perhaps, not gener- 
ally known that the part of the- street running towards 
Commercial Street is to this day named Morgan Street. 

In the London Gazette, April 14th, 1843, the following 
interesting local license occurs : — 

" The Queen has been pleased to grant unto 
Edward Taylor, of Crook, in the County Palatine 
of Durham, her royal license and authority, that he 

History of Crook and District. 27 

and his issue may, in compliance with a clause con- 
tained in the last will and testament of Dame Jane 
Peat, late of Bishop Wearmouth, in the said Count j' 
of Durham, widow of the Rev. Sir Robert Peat, 
deceased, henceforth take and use the surname of 
Smith, in addition to and after that of Taylor, and 
take, adopt, and use the arms of Smith, quarterly, 
^I'ith those of Taylor ; such arms being first duly 
exemplified according to the laws of arms, and 
recorded in the Herald's Office, otherwise the said 
royal permission to be void and of none effect." 

Woodifield Colliery was opened out in 1843. When it 
was closed in 1884 for some months, all the rats in the 
workings came out together and journeyed down Com- 
mercial Street in an almost solid mass of thousands upon 
thousands of the vermin. They finally disappeared 
down the sewers, and into other local mines. The 
colliery was again closed — finally this time — in 1909, 
when one hundred and fifty-eight men received their 

The railway at Crook was opened out on November 
8th, 1843. Under the old Stockton and Darlington 
company, the first passenger station stood near to where 
now stands the present Goods Station, in West Road. 
It was not long, however, before a move was made to 
the present site. Crook has never boasted first-class 
station accommodation, whilst its train service has long 
been the despair both of travellers and townspeople 
alike. The first excursion from the town was to Redcar. 
The carriages were of the " cattle truck " variety ; the 
train taking about five-and-a-half hours to do the journey. 
The present stationmaster is Mr. Thomas J. Wilson. 

How the town was first granted a "lock-up" is stated 
in the following report : — 

" At the Easter Sessions, April 9th, 1851, Mr. 
Scruton read the Chief Constable's Report, which 
stated that Crook had several mines in its immediate 
vicinity and a considerable population, not of the 

28 History of Crook and District. 

most orderly description, and the want of a ' lock- 
up ' at the place was much felt, the nearest being 
at Wolsingham and Bishop Auckland — six and seven 
miles away ; such an establishment would, there- 
fore, be a great convenience in this place, as well 
as in others similarly situated. After hearing the 
rejDort, the chairman enquired if any one knew any- 
thing of Crook ; and Mr. Elliott's description of the 
place, in reply to the question, had the effect of 
procuring for it the desired convenience." 

This old place was considered good enough until 1897, 
when the present fine structure was erected. Sergeant 
Stephenson is the present officer in charge. 

During the autumn of 1853 a severe epidemic of cholera 
raged in the town, and there were many deaths. Among 
those who died were Mr. Matthew Willan, sen., aged 
eighty-five ; Mr. Matthew Willan, jun., aged forty-three ; 
and Mrs. Sarah Calvert (daughter of Mr. Willan), aged 
thirty-nine — the deaths taking place within a few days 
of each other. The cause of the outbreak was attributed 
to the lack of dwelling-house conveniences. The village 
green itself, instead of being kept in order as a place for 
healthy exercise and recreation, was nothing more than 
a receptacle for the drainings of the dwellings which 
surrounded it. Dr. Lewis, of the Central Board of 
Health, visited Crook to investigate, and in his report 
he strongly denounced the practice of building dwelling- 
houses without those conveniences essentially necessary 
to health and cleanliness, and which he attributed to the 
total want of regulation in their erection. 

In 1855 the town was fast becoming one of great local 
importance. Mr. Ralph Dickenson was jjostmaster, 
and letters arrived from Darlington at 8.30 a.m., the 
return despatch being at 5 p.m. The stationmaster was 
Mr. Robert Kipling. Among others who were resident 
in the parish were the following : — 
Peter Campbell, saddler. 
John Co well, ironmonger. 

Hisitory of Crook and District. 29 

John Emmeeson, blacksmith. 

Robert Geundy, blacksmith. 

Hbnky Graham, coUiery viewer. 

John Hutchinson, sexton. 

Dr. Walker Kelly. 

Dr. J. Whinship. 

Dr. Jambs G. Nichol. 

Rev. William Sandford, M.A. 

John Kellett, builder. 

John Lee, stonemason. 

W. Miller, butter dealer. 

Robert Renwick, bookseller. 

John Snowdon, linen and woollen draper. 

William Spencer, resident viewer of Woodi- 

field and White Lee Collieries. 
Sylvester Wherly, clockmaker. 
C. C. Wilson, colliery agent. 

Boot and Shoe Makers. — John Brass, Thomas Dodds, 
George Lax, Joseph Lax, Matthew Hutchinson, 
Charles Jackson, Richard Moore, Thomas Pattinson, 
Edward Robson, John Smith, Joseph Tallantire. 

Butchers. — Thomas Addison, Robert Brown, George 
Dodds, Joseph Hall, Joseph Horner, George Spence. 

Joiners. — Samuel Hare, William Lax, Joseph Maddison. 

Farmers. — John Emerson, Jonathan Hall, Thomas 
Hall, Thomas Jobling, Cuthbert Marshall, John 
Nicholson, William Proud, Jonathan Rippon, 
Robert Smith, John Wilkiason, George WiUans, 
John Willans, John Wilson (Billy Row). 

Schoolmasters. — M. Dickenson, Jonathan Hutchinson, 
James McLachlin, James Swale. 

Tailors. — R. Dodsworth, Jesse Hall, Joseph Jackson, 
George Stephenson. 

Grocers. — Joseph Bell (and hosier and draper), Ralph 
Boddy (and draper and druggist), Joseph Cowen, 
Thomas Dale, Ralph Dickinson, Thomas Dison, 
John Elgie, Thomas Elliott. R. Forman, John 

80 Histonj of Crook and District. 

Gowland, Richard Humble, T. Sewell, Thomas 

Thompson, John Walker, W. Whitfield, James 

Wilson (and draper and druggist). 

Innkeepers and Tavernkeepbbs. — John Robinson, 

"Bay Horse"; John Dickenson," Crown "; Eleanor 

Linton, " Horse Shoe "; Thomas Bell, " Queen's 

Head "; Mary Hope, " Railway Tavern "; John 

Botham, " Royal Oak." 

The Crook Cemetery was opened on July 24th, 1855. 

The first person buried there was Mr. John Jordan, 

Helmington Row, aged forty-six years. Up to the 

present date (August, 1915) 6,271 have been buried in the 

old portion, whilst, in the newer, part, which was opened 

in 1877, the number buried is 7,429 ; a total of 13,700 

burials, which is more than the present population of 

the Crook and Billy Row Parish. 

The Crook Gas Company was incorporated on Septem- 
ber 18th, 1856. Mr. W. D. White is the present secretary. 
In the fifties there resided at Job's Hill Collierj-, Robert 
Gibbon, who was designated " The Pitman Poet." He 
was born in North Bondgate, Bishop Auckland, in 1817, 
and died on the 1st of May, 1878. The only education he 
received was at the Barrington School, and he was sent to 
work at the Black Boy Colliery at the age of nine years. 
His life was a very laborious and chequered one, yet he 
contrived to write a considerable amount of verse, which 
he issued in five separate publications, all of which \\ere 
well received by the press and public. His last jears 
were marked by great physical suffering, yet they were 
rendered comparatively comfortable by the kind atten- 
tion of a good and affectionate wife. Mr. Matthew 
Richley, the Bishop Auckland historian and poet, paid 
him a magnificent tribute in a poem entitled- — " An 
Epistle to Robert Gibbon, a brother poet," of which the 
last lines read — 

" Then still we&ve on your magic lays. 
Until you've gained that crown of bays, 
Bestudded 'round with jewels rare. 
Which kings may crave, but genius wear." 

History of Crook and District. 31 

Robert Gibbon's works are all worth more than a 
passing glance. He may not have been an educated 
man, yet his gift of language was wonderful, and his 
verses are pregnant with life. The following lines may 
fairly be said to be a vivid picture of the old mining 
days : — 

OR, Cause and Effect. 

" A cottage was ringing with musical joy — 
A mother sat singing her infant boy, 
Kissing it, blessing it — raising her strain — 
Hugging it, pressing it, fain, O fain ; 
Her heart was as light as the lambs on the lea ; 
Its eyes were as bright as the dew on the tree ; 
Its innocent freaks were the smiles o£ the pure, 
And its chubby cheeks were the bud of a flower. 

" Time on the wing went fleeting with joy. 
Each little thing went well with the boy ; 
He toddl'd along in his garments -of plaid, 
And never did "w^rong in the sight of his dad ; 
That there were ' few sic ' he oft did avow, — 
His prattling was ' music that nought could outdo,' 
And oh, it was really the best of his joys, 
To see little BiUy toss over his toys. 

" Seven years roU'd, when they added four others. 
And in that bit fold then were sisters and brothers ; 
And life's shifting stages were crippled by want. 
For poor daddy's wages were meagre and scant ; 
And tho' they were humble, and liv'd on a crust. 
With trade and its jumble they could not be just ; 
And poor little Billy, tho' tender in years. 
With infancy silly, and luind full of fears — 
To the pit had to ' bowl oft,' a pittance to get. 
And it was the school of this once little pet. 

" The ' caller's ' harsh warning was hurl'd at the door. 
And Billy each morning roU'd on to the floor. 
Yawning,- half -waken ; reluctant and slow. 
With tender linabs aching, and heart drooping low ; 
And, wailing and groaning, he'd leave his dear home. 
At five in the morning, for regions of gloom ; 
And there until seven at ev'ning he'd sigh. 
Where a gleam from kind heaven never fell on his eye ; 
The light but one day in seven he saw ; — 
That transient Sunday which mercy made law ; 

32 Hintory of Crook and District. 

And it seem'd but a dream of life's delicious form. 
And pass'd like a gleam of the sun in a storm. 
Gloomy and woeful was time as it roll'd, 
Horrid and awful the tales that were told. 
Hellish, and fiendish the blasphemy wild ; 
And tho' 'twas outlandish at first to the child, 
The vile repetition the legacy gave. 
And oft in derision 'twas hurl'd at a knave, 

" Years after years fled, — Billy progressed — 
Infantine fears fled — BiUy he cursed ; 
Cunning barbarity next on him crept. 
Wisdom and charity latently slept ; 
And plotting and scheming his fellows to wrong. 
Was but his dreaming all the night long ; 
Hard toil'd till callous in feeling and frame, 
Canker'd with malice — untinted with shame. 
Viciously, viciously, onward he'd go. 
And competitiously makes each his foe. 

" Hours of leisure roU'd, and roU'd by — 
Low was that treasure in the youth's eye ; 
He'd eat, and he'd slumber, he'd yawn, and he'd 

As his life would encumber the frame of a wretch. 
After a gormandise, outward he'd reel ; 
Wearied with home, and ease — thirsty he'd feel ; 
To tavern he'd saunter, and mix with the throng. 
The fighter and vaunter of feats wild and strong. 

" Other years pass'd away — Bill was a man ; 
But a course cast away from moral span ; 
Av'rice had curs'd him with poverty deep ; 
Ignorance nurs'd him, and luU'd him to sleep — 
A sleep that was mental, and held him in thrall 
And shaded the gentle ideas from his soul ; 
Wealthy men spurned him — pious men preach 'd — 
Moral men mourn'd him — temperate men teach'd ; 
Yet onward he rambl'd, and revell'd in sport. 
And labour'd and gambl'd till death stopp'd him 

In 1857 the Burns' Club Dinner was held at the 
" Wheatbottom " Inn, when an ode, specially written 
for the occasion by Mr. Robert Gibbon, " The Pitman 
Poet," was recited. In 1870 Dr. Armour, who resided 
in the town, presided over the local gathering of Burns' 
admirers. He was a native of Ayrshire, and was a 
relative of Jean Armour, the poet's wife. The Burns' 

History of Crook and District. 33 

Club continues to celebrate the annual festival. Mr. 
James Wilson, Gracehill House, was secretary for many 
years. Mr. Alex. B. Rutherford is the present secretary. 

The coldest Christmas Day ever known was that of 
1860, when 45.8 degrees of frost were registered. In one 
town a horse was seen with icicles at his nose three inches 
in length and as thick as three fingers. 

In 1862 some excitement was occasioned throughout 
the town and district in consequence of the exposure of 
a book called Private and Confidential, in which were the 
names of " Bad and Doubtful Customers, for use of 
members of the Crook Trade Protection Society." The 
Times and Herald in its paragraph referring to the matter, 
stated — " The book was never intended for public gaze ; 
but for Mr. Bailey, one of the members concerned, and 
who maj' be termed ' Bad and Worse,' had his creditors 
been as ruthless to him as he has been to those whom he 
has either wilfully or carelessly exposed after his own 
defalcations have come to light ; and it is to be hoped 
that both he and the publishers will keep their fingers 
clean from svich acts in future." 

A first attempt at holding an Agricultural Show was 
made in the early sixties (1862). This was perhaps more 
of a pig show than an exhibition of various cattle, and the 
show ground was the Market Place. It was next held in 
a field where Gladstone Street now stands. Following 
this, it took place annually in what we know as the old 
cricket field, below the Council Schools. These shows 
were by far the most successful ever held under the old 
regime, and there was a big falling away when the field 
behind the Rectory was next occupied as a show ground. 
The show lapsed for some years, during which a fairly 
successful Horticultural and Industrial Show was held 
in the Dawson Street cricket field. The Agricultural 
Show was revived a few years ago, and was again held in 
the old cricket field ; though, subsequentl}', it was moved 
to the football field. 

There was a corps of volunteers in the town over fifty 
years ago, and the movement has generally been more or 

3-1 Histonj of Crook and District. 

less prominent since that time. Interest, however, mat- 
erially increased during the last twenty years ; and, as a 
result, funds were finally raised, out of which a very fine 
Drill Hall was erected in Croft Street. It was a memor- 
able day when the opening ceremony was performed, 
for Crook was honoured by a visit from Lord Haldane, 
Secretary of State for War. 

The first Flower Show held at Peases West was in 
1865, and the first effort of a similar kind in Crook was 
in 1869. 

Crook Hunt Steeplechases started in 1866, and were 
held annually for some years. 

In 1866 Lady Barrington entertained the whole of the 
workmen at the Bankfoot Works and the local colHeries 
to a feast. New brick-sheds had just been erected, and 
the repast was served on tables placed in the sheds. 
The occasion was one of great rejoicing ; and Lady 
Barrington had a royal reception when she visited the 

Mr. John Finley, farmer. Quarry House, father of 
Mr. Thomas Finley, Allotment House, Fir Tree, was the 
first to use the Market Place for market purposes. He 
had a wood building erected, in which he sold meat. 

The following is a copy of an interesting petition 
presented in 1867, in Crook Parochial School and Vestry 
Meeting Room (where the business of the Parish is 
regularly transacted) : — 

" To the Overseers of Crook and Billy Row, Mr. 
Joseph Bell and Mr. Peter Campbell. 
" Gents, 

" We, the undersigned, regret extremely the 
present anomalous position of the Parochial School 
on the Village Green — an institution which has 
numbered among its former teachers such men as 
Frank Foster, Hindmarch, Mawson, and other 
scholars of eminence ; and among their pupils men 

History of Crook and District. 


of great literary and mathematical renown, among 
others, Mr. Thomas Baker, of Elm Park, the author 
of numerous celebrated mathematical treatises and 
the inventor of the method of laying down railway 

" We request you to convene a General Meeting 
of the Ratepayers with a view to the appointment 
of officers who shall have a governing charge of the 
institution on behalf of the Parish at large, so as in 
future to prevent such irregularities as have late 
had place. It is not only the Parochial School, but 
also the meeting place for the holding of Parochial 
Meetings where the business of the Parish is trans- 


G. Lax. 


T. Stephenson. 


T. Williams. 
Rich. Moore. 


T. Hall. 
R. Hedley. 
J. M. Wilson. 
T. Linton. 
H. Hayton. 
T. Brown. 
J. Bell. 
A. Y. Talbot. 
W. Burn. 
Jas. Porteus. 
J. Kbllett. 
Geo. Atkinson. 
G. S. Hornby. 

James Wilson. 

John Hare. 

A. Kellbtt. 

M. Thornton. 

G. Graham. 

G. Lister. 

Elizabeth Wilkinson. 

Joseph Lax. 

Ralph Hodgson. 

J. T. Ryle. 

T. D. Reed. 

Thos. Gargett. 

Thos. Brown. 

W. BuRNiP, Junior. 

R. Baker, 

Joseph Hall. 

J. P. Rhyme. 

R. S., Fell. 


W. Bainbridge. 
W. Routh. 
C. Walton. 
Joseph Spark 
Jacob Waud. 

36 History of Crook and District. 

John Nicholson. W. Humphrey. 

Wm. Pollard. Jos. Jackson. 

T. Stephenson. J. Stephenson. 

G. Bell. Jesse Hall. 

T. Catron. John Walker. 

Wm. Armstrong. J. Lbb. 

G. S. Aldbrson. J. E. Bygate. 
G. Fletcher. 

" December 6th, 1867." 

It is usually taken for granted that Gladstone Street 
was so-called in honour of the renowned Liberal Premier. 
Such, however, is incorrect. It was named " Gladstone " 
after a great racehorse, which won one of the big races 
whilst the street was being built. Dawson Street was 
named after one Robert Dawson, who owned the land in 
the sixties, and was an innkeeper at Bishop Auckland. 
In 1764 all the land in this particular part, consisting of 
eight acres, was known as Gibb's Fields, and belonged to 
the Greenwell family. 

In 1870 Mr. Corner, a prominent official at the Bank- 
foot Works, was given the appointment of Assistant 
Overseer. The matter was afterwards taken to Court, 
owing to the appointment being challenged, and the 
magistrates decided : — 

" That Mr. Corner was not duly elected, and they 
refuse to sign the appointment." 

There was a great gathering of Orangemen at Crook 
in 1872. Much trouble was anticipated, owing to many 
Fenian threats, but the affair passed off comparatively 
quietljr. At night there was some disturbance in the 
streets, but the two or three originators of the row were 
locked-up by- the police. 

A Polytechnic Exhibition was opened on March 10th, 
1875, by Joseph Mahns, Esq., G.W.C.T., under the 
auspices of the Good Templars' Brass Band. Mr. T. 
Co well was secretary for the effort. 

Ilistorij of Ciool: dinl histricl. 


1874 ^\■as a memorable j'ear in the town, for, in the 
course of the General Election in February, an unforgett- 
able riot took place. Crook was then part of the South 
Durham Division, and had a voting strength of four 
hundred and thirty-five electors. Major Beaumont and 
]\Ir. J. W. Pease were the Liberal candidates, whilst 

('1-!0(.)K irAlUvET l'L,-\('E, .VliorT LS()2. 

Lord C'astlereagh (late Marcpiis of Jjondonderry) ^\-as the 
Tory nomination. Peo]ile 'i\ho were in Crook on that 
eleventh of February describe the riot as a terrible 
affair. At the subsequent Court proceedings, Supt. 
Oliver's evidence gave a vivid picture of "what had 
happened. He said : — 

" On Tuesday, 11th February last, I was on duty 
at Crook. I arrived there about eight o'clock in the 
morning, and took charge of the ins])eotors, ser- 
geants, and constables, numbering eighteen. At 
live o'clock in the afternoon, my attention was dra^vn 
to a large crowd of people, 3'elling and shouting, in 
front of the " Queen's Head " Hotel. I proceeded 
to the place in comjjany with Inspector Spenoe, 
Sergeant Fleming, and four constables. I saw a 
luimber of men striking and jostling a man in the 
cro^^'d. I afterwards found it was Mr. Maw, 
solicitor, who had been coming quietly down the 

38 History of Crook and District. 

street. With the assistance of the force I had,' I 
succeeded in getting Mr. Maw into the " Queen's 
Head " Hotel, and the crowd were afterwards dis- 
persed. At that time I saw John Clarkson and 
George Kell. They were shouting and yeUing. 
There seemed to be about eight hundred people, and 
Mr. Maw was in the middle. We proceeded up Hope 
Street, and, on nearing the station, we saw a dis- 
turbance. A cab was coming down the street, 
showing Conservative colours — red bills — on the 
side, and Mr. Laws was in it. A large crowd was 
following, and the driver seemed to be driving as 
fast as he could. The people who were following 
were shouting and yelling, and the police whom I 
first named followed the cab. In going down, we 
were reinforced by other four policemen. We went 
across the Green, where the crowd were running to. 
I saw the cab which passed us in Hope Street stand- 
ing near the " Surtees " Hotel. The back-street 
was densely packed with people. As we were going 
towards it, the cab was thrown over on to its broad- 
side, and the windows smashed with stones. I don't 
know whether the person was in the cab. I saw the 
man with the red hair — Thomas Tarn — standing 
near one of the hind wheels, but I did not see him 
throw stones. The cab was then taken further 
down the yard, and the police formed between the 
cab and the crowd, and a very great volley of stones 
was thrown over our heads at the cab. I could 
not say that any of the defendants threw the stones. 
We drove the crowd from the back-lane to the 
Green. The first thing I saw on getting on to the 
Green, was a volley of stones thrown at the windows 
of Surtees' Hotel from the crowd. I saw Thomas 
Clarkson in the crowd, about fifteen or twenty yards 
off the hotel. I called to the crowd to desist from 
destroying the property, and spoke in a loud voice 
to try and persuade them to leave the streets. They 
desisted for the moment, but they afterwards went 

History of Crook and District. 39 

to Mr. Bell's (draper) premises, where the crowd 
charged upon the premises, and threw a volley of 
stones through the windows. I could not identify 
any of the defendants as being there. I put the 
men on the double, and when I got to the " Queen's 
Head '• Hotel, I saw a number of stones thrown 
through the windows and at the doors. In going 
up to the front of the " Queen's Head," I saw the 
defendant — John Clarkson — attempting to force 
open the window shutter downstairs ; I took hold 
of him, and forced him to one side. We formed up 
between the crowd and the hotel, and succeeded in 
pressing them back to the Market Place, in front of 
the Conservative Committee Rooms, at the window 
shutters of which some stones \i'ere thrown. I saw 
Dent and Clarkson in the crowd, but it was imposs- 
ible to say whether they threw stones, as everyone 
seemed to have stones in their hands. We followed 
the crowd to Greathead's pubhc house, and before 
arriving there, I heard a great deal of yelling and 
breaking of glass. I saw that the whole of the win- 
dows had been broken. The street was completely 
blocked up by the crowd, who were shouting and 
breaking windows. I called out at the top of m.j 
voice — ' Desist destroying that property, or I shall 
make you.' The attention of the crowd seemed to 
be on the police, and stones were thrown from the 
crowd, some of which struck the officers, and two 
struck me. I then called out — ' Every man leave 
the streets, or I shall charge upon you at once.' 
I saw George Dent at that time. Instead of leaving 
the streets, the crowd pressed down upon us, and 
continued to throw stones at the pohoe. I gave 
orders to the officers to draw their truncheons ; 
and, after fighting for about fifteen minutes, we 
succeeded in breaking through the front of the 
crowd. The mob all threw stones from behind. 
At the Police Station there were over two hundred 
j)eople throwing stones through the windows, and 

40 History of Crook and District. 

they were shouting — ' Let's give the b place 

Hetton.' On the crowd perceiving us, there was a 
tremendous howl from the whole lot, and a very 
strong volley of stones. Almost every man I had 
had been struck. After fighting four or five minutes 
we succeeded in dislodging them from the x^lace. It 
was then getting to be about half-past eight, and I 
afterwards received eight constables and a sergeant 
from Bishop Auckland." 

The condu.ct of the police was severely criticised at a 
meeting in the Mechanics' Hall, when about eight hun- 
dred persons were present. The chairman was Mr. John 
Bell, and the principal speakers were — Mr. Ralph Dixon, 
Rev. Gregory Renton (Wesleyan Minister), Mr. Isaac 
Wilson, Mr. Rd. Bones, Mr. George Black, Mr. J. Anderson, 
Mr. George Morson, and Mr. Simon Robinson. The 
chief resolution passed was — " That this meeting is of 
opinion that the police constables, acting under the 
command of Supt. Oliver, on duty on Tuesdaj-, the 
11th February, were guilty of violent and unjustifiable 
assault on several peaceable and respectable inhabitants 
of Crook and the neighbourhood." In the course of the 
evening it was remarked that one hundred policemen, 
with cutlasses, had arrived in the town, and that two 
magistrates were also there to read the Riot Act, if it 
was necessary. 

Mr. James Wilson died in 1875. He, along with the 
late Mr. Henry Whitfield, who died in 1904, were two of 
the greatest of workers for the cause of Primitive Method- 
ism. Mr. Wilson had also achieved fame as one of the 
famous " Twelve Apostles," who, in the Chartist period, 
went to London in 1844 to plead the cause of the pitmen. 
He left the mine and commenced business in a very 
humble way. Success rewarded his energy and industry, 
and he became one of the principal tradesmen in the 
town. He was one of the projectors of the Crook Gas 
Company, and held the position of chairman of the 
directors. He was also one of the promoters of the 

History of Crook and District. 41 

Mechanics' Institute. All through his public life he 
worked earnestly for Primitive Methodism. In 1838 
he became a local preacher, and, later, took the most 
active part in the erection of the first Primitive Methodist 
Chapel in 1847. 

At the School Board Election in 1875 the result was 
as follows : — 


A. PippiTT, Church Hill (Roman Catholic). . 1028 

William Hepple (Independent) 984 

R. Dixon, South View (Society of Friends) . . 963 

S. T. Jones, White Lea House (Independent) 773 

Thomas Douglas, West Lodge (Independent) 684 

Joseph Anderson, Crook (Independent) . . 675 

John Scott, Crook (Miners' Candidate) 481 

Isaac Wn.soN (Primitive Methodist) 417 

R. Dixon, Greenfield House (Wesleyan). . . . 395 

Rev. J. King, (Churchman) 254 

Wm. BuRNip, Crook (Wesleyan) 243 

Rev. T. DoDDS (Presbyterian) 141 

J. Hutchinson, Wheatbottom 129 

Alex. Mackay, M.D. (Churchman) 122 

Michael Stitt 68 

John Bell, Crook 61 

G. P. Reed, Stanley House 55 

T. A. Brown, Crook 18 

Wm. Grbenwell, Job's Hill (Catholic) .... 13 

T. Linton, Crook 11 

The first seven were elected. The votes were counted 
at the offices of Messrs. Trotter, Bruce, and Trotter, 
Bishop Auckland. 

In 1886 strong efforts were made to induce the North 
Eastern Railway Company to provide railway passenger 
communication between Crook and Waterhouses. Meet- 
ings were held at Crook, Stanley, Waterhouses, Bishop 
Auckland, and Durham, and a strong and influential 
deputation was appointed to interview the directors of 
the Company at York on June 3rd. The scheme w&s 

43 History of Crook and District. 

fully explained by Mr. Thomas Douglas, who represented 
the suggested line as one of only three-and-a-quarter 
miles in length, commencing at a point where the Tow 
Law Railway joins the old West Durham line above 
Crook, passing up a gorge by Billy Hall, over the summit 
of the hill at Stanley, and thence, partially over the 
existing mineral line, in a gradual descent skirts the hill 
side east of Stanley until it joins the Dearness Railway 
a little west of Waterhouses Colliery. The heaviest 
gradient would not, on the route, exceed that of the Crook 
and Tow Law Railway. 

Amongst others of the deputation who spoke were the 
Mayor of Durham ; Mr. H. T. Pierson, Brancepeth, 
acting for Lord Boyne ; Major L. Smith, Flass Hall, 
on behalf of landowners ; Mr. J. J. Allison, representing 
the Weardale Iron and Coal Company ; and Mr. James 
Gill, Crook, and Mr. William Burnip, Crook, for the 
trading classes of the district. 

The chairman of the Board, while thanking the deputa- 
tion, and reminding them of the present depressed 
condition in trade generally, assured it of the willingness 
of the directors to take the matter up if there was a 
reasonable possibility of making the line a paying con- 
cern, and intimated that their engineering staff would 
examine and report on the subject, and that the scheme 
should have the very best consideration of the board, 
who would afterwards communicate its decision. 

At the Royal Show, held at Carlisle, in July, 1880, the 
champion bull was a Crook exhibit in "Duke of Howl 
John." This magnificent beast was bred in 1874 by 
Messrs. Vickers, " Howl John," Stanhope. Mr. John 
Vickers, " Mown Meadows Farm," was the owner of the 
animal, which carried off prizes in all parts of the 

In 1881, Mr. T. P. O'Connor, M.P., visited Crook, and 
addressed a gathering in the Market Place, which was 
estimated at three thousand persons. 

History of Crook and District. 43 

At Thistleflat Colliery a strike occurred in 1882. Five 
men were heavily fined at Bishop Auckland Court for 
interfering with a " blackleg." 

In the course of the last half-century the district has 
been visited by serious outbreaks of fire on several 
occasions. In 1865 a fire occurred which was direotlj- 
responsible for the opening out of a new part of the town. 
A shop occupied by a Mr. Rodgers stood where the 
'" Surtees " Hotel now stands, and there was a black- 
smith's shop adjoining. Mr. Rodgers' shop was com- 
pletely destroyed by the fire, and it was afterwards 
decided to pull down the smithy. This space was the 
entrance to a street which was then made, and was 
named Emmerson Street, after the blacksmith, Mr. 

On January 29th, 1871, there was an extensive fire on 
the premises in Church Street, used by Mr. John Gow- 
land as a drapery and millinery estabhshment. The 
outbreak was discovered by Miss Gowland at five 
o'clock in the morning. Hundreds of people soon 
assembled, and there were plenty of willing helpers, but 
all their efforts, with the additional help afforded by fire 
engines from Brancepeth and Bishop Auckland, were of 
no avail. At one time it was feared that the whole of 
Church Street would become enveloped, and tenants in 
the houses and shops on each side of the burning premises 
began to remove their furniture, etc. Some small 
cottages were also demolished. The roof of the shop 
eventually fell in, and the danger was shortly after this 
overcome. , In the midst of th.e excitemeot Mr. John 
Gowland, junior, fell, when on the roof, and was seriousl}' 
injured. Other two persons — Mr. Graham and Mr. 
Wilson, Arthur Street — also received injuries. Some of 
the stock was carried into the churchyard, but what was 
saved from fire was trampled underfoot and destroyed. 
The damage was estimated at the large sum of £5,000. 

Few who were living at the time will ever forget 
Saturday, November 18th, 1893. On that day Crook 

44 History of Crook and District. 

and district was visited by a storm, the like of which has 
never been known hereabouts. The barometer showed 
a drop of one-and-a-half inches, and the wind and snow 
were ahke terrible in their intensity. The daj' was made, 
if possible, even more memorable by the complete des- 
truction of Stanley Church by fire. Standing, as it does, 
in such a prominent site on the hill side, the burning 
church was seen for miles around from every part. The 
church was rebuilt, and arrangements were made for the 
re-opening on November 17th, 1894. Three days before, 
on November 14th, the Sunday School, a fine building, 
which stood on an adjoining piece of ground, caught fire, 
and, like the church, was burned to the ground. The 
re-opening of the new church on the Saturday was 
carried out amid truly unforgettable surroundings. 

In the same year, 1894, there was another big blaze in 
the town, when Cummins'- Soap Works, which stood on 
a site adjacent to the present Drill Hall, was entirely 

At Wooley Colliery, on January 31st, 1911, a large 
washer caught fire, and much damage resulted before the 
flames were put out. 

On November 28th, 1912, there was a keen frost. At 
six o'clock in the morning a fire broke out in the works 
of Messrs. Walton Brothers, contractors, Croft Street. 
The flames soon had a firm hold of the whole place, 
stocked, as it was, with goods of an inflammable nature. 
The fire defied all the efforts made, and burned for 
twenty-four hours. The damage was estimated at 


The Parish Church, dedicated to St. Catherine, was 
licensed by the Bishop of Durham under the 6th and 7th, 
William IV. Previously services had been held in the 
old building in the Market Place, now the Town Council 
Offices, and which is surmised as having been erected 
about 1820 by a few of the farmers in the district. The 
name of the Rector of Brancepeth, in 1837, is down in 

Hialorij of Crook iiml Distilcl. 45 

the book of rates as an occu])ieT, larobably due to his 
o^vnership of this building. Tlie foundation stone of the 
present church was laid on the 10th of June. 1S40, b}' 
G. H. Wilkinson, Esq., of Harpcrly Hall. Even with its 
suljsequent additions, it remains a plain structure, built 
ni the Gothic style. At first it consisted of a nave, but, in 
18 /S, a wnig was added ; and, afterwards, on January 
21st, 1885. the chancel was completed, and opened by the 
late Bishop Lightfoot. who preached a sermon ii'i the 
afternoon. In the evening the preacher was Canon 
Falconer. Canon Watkins preached on the following 
Sunday. The organ was installed, and opened in 1891 
l)y Mr. F. Tovey, then organist at Holy Trinity Church, 
Darlington, Init no«- resident in London. 

]',\i;isii ciiriicii, ciiod]-: 

The bm-ial ground attached tf) the church «as very 
soon filled, and has not been used for about sixty years. 
The first person buried was Mar}- Lindsay, Bolden Close 
(afterwards Boldon Close, and now Bowden Close). She 
was thirty-two years of age, and, at the interment, on 
January 28th, 1844, the Rev. John Buncombe Shaftoe, 
Rector of Brancepeth, officiated. The first baptism 
was on October 15th, 1843, — John, son of John and Marj' 

46 History of Crook and District. 

Smith, shoemaker, Crook. Rev. Robert Thompson 
(probably curate at Brancepeth) was the officiating 
minister. The first persons married were William 
Raine, sawyer, son of John Raine, to Ann Fenwick, 
daughter of John Fenwick. This took place on Novem- 
ber 17th, 1845. The Rev. Wm. Sandford, Curate, 
officiated . The latter clergyman was the first incumbent. 
His appointment took place in 1845. He died very 
suddenly in 1872, and a handsome stained glass window, 
"The Good Shepherd," was erected to his memory. 
Mr. Sandford, who was over seventy years of age, was 
succeeded by the Rev. John King, M.A., who came from 
a curacy at St. James' Church, Gateshead, in 1872. His 
death, in 19J3, after forty-one years of untiring labours, 
was a big blow to both the church and town. He had 
active connection with all the important operations in 
the town ; whilst during his incumbency of the church, 
it was estimated that he had been responsible for the 
raising of a total sum of £15;000 on behalf of local church 
work. In 1907 he received a gift from the parishioners 
of one hundred guineas, and Mrs. King was the recipient 
of a silver tea service. It was chiefly through Mr. 
King's great effort that the present Church Institute 
and Sunday Schools were erected. The opening ceremony 
was in 1903. The buildings cost £1,650. Since his 
death a stained glass window to his memory has been 
placed in the church. At the same time another window 
was inserted by Mrs. H. Lister as a memorial to her 
parents (Mr. and Mrs. Farrar Morson). On the north 
side there is also a beautiful window, erected by Dr. 
Mackay, J.P., Palmfield House, to the memory of his 
wife and youngest daughter. In October, 1913, the 
present rector. Rev. Jacob Ridley Barker, M.A., Sunder- 
land, was given charge of the church. The patronage 
of the living was formerly vested in the Shaftoes, of 
Whitworth, but it is now the gift of the Rector of 
Brancepeth. The present rector's warden is Mr. William 
Machell. The churchwardens are Mr. Thomas Walton 
and Mr. John Surtees. 

History of Crook and District. 47 

The Roman Catholic Church has always had a devoted 
following in the town. Beautifully situated in ChurchHill, 
it is noticed for miles around. It is built in the second 
pointed style of Gothic architecture, and is dedicated to 
" Our Blessed Lady Immaculate and St. Cuthbert." 
The foundation stone was laid on the 8th September, 
1853, by the Cathohc Bishop of Hexham, and the church 
was opened on the 25th October, 1854. The interior 
decorative work is very fine, the high altar being carved 
in Caen stone, and surrounded by a beautiful stained 
glass window of five lights, containing full-length repre- 
sentations of the Blessed Virgin, St. John the Evangelist, 
St. Luke, St. Augustine, and St. Bernard. Together 
with day schools and a presbytery, it was estimated 
to cost £3,000, which sum was raised by private donations 
and voluntary subscriptions. The Rev. Seton Rooke 
was the first priest. Afterwards the church was in the 
charge of the Rev. T. W. Wilkinson, who, later on, 
became famous as Bishop of Hexham. He was known 
everywhere by the familiar title of " Father Tom." 
In 1869 the Rev. Augustine Pippitt became priest. He 
held this position until the present year, when he retired 
to Whitby. The reverend gentleman, in the course of 
his long untiring ministry, was responsible for an 
invaluable amount of work. He was responsible for 
innumerable additions to the church, convent, and 
school ; and perhaps his most striking success was the 
erection, in the jubilee year, of the tower, with clock 
and bells complete. The tower is a beautiful piece of 
work, and is a landmark for miles around. The Rev. 
Father Hayes is the present priest. 


The Wesleyan Methodists have had a long connection 
with the town and district. The first mention we find 
of Methodists is in a Dales (Weardale) Circuit book, 
which states that — " Billy Row, in 1773, began to con- 
tribute, and sent amounts varying from three shillings 

4y History of Crook and District. 

to sixteen shillings per quarter. It was the longest and 
largest contributor of any of the places mentioned." 
Whether John Wesley visited Billy Row is not recorded, 
but residents who lived half-a-century ago stated that 
they had been informed by their parents that the great 
founder of Wesleyanism was twice preaching on the 
Village Green. It would be at the beginning of the last 
century when Wesleyanism gained its first hold in the 
town. Preachers came from Bishop Auckland and the 
surrounding districts. A society was formed many 
years before a permanent place was secured in which to 
conduct services. The first meetings were in a room 
belonging to Mr. William Robson ; after which they got 
possession of the village school (the present Township 
Offices) . Here they were greatly harassed by the opposi- 
tion of the Vicar of Brancepeth (Crook being in his 
parish), and he ultimately got them ejected from this 
place. The members had to fall back on the only place 
available, a granary, which was part of the farm which 
stood on the site now occupied by the " Royal " Hotel. 
Where is now the front door of the latter, were formerly 
the stone steps which led to the granary ; and the meet- 
ings were often greeted with the noises made by the horses 
in the stables below. After this period a room was 
obtained in Mr. J. Linton's house. Then Mr. George 
Lax opened his kitchen, which served for thirteen years 
as a meeting house. The first chapel, now in the occu- 
pancy of the Moravian Church, was opened on Tuesday, 
November 22nd, 1844, by the Rev. J. Kirk, Barnard 
Castle, and the Rev. T. Dunn, Durham. The late Mr. 
John Kellett was one of the chief promoters of this 
sanctuary, and for some years took an active part in the 
various Circuit movements. In 1862 the old chapel was 
superseded by the present large and excellent buildings 
in Hope Street. The foundation stone was laid bj' Mr. 
M. Braithwaite, senior ; in connection with which 
ceremony, and the public meeting held in the evening, 
S. D. Waddy, Q.C., Esq., London, took an active part. 
The chapel was opened on Sunday, November 23rd, by 

History of Crook and District. 49 

Squire Brook, of Huddersfield. The Minister's house, 
Chapel, and Sunday School adjoin each other, and form 
a very compact and useful set of buildings, built at a 
cost of £2,000 ; which were further improved in 1913, 
at an expense of £600. 

The Crook Circuit was commenced in 1871, having 
previously been connected with the Bishop Auckland 
Circuit. At that time it had two ministers, thirty-two 
local preachers, five hundred and forty-one members, 
and property valued at £5,000 ; the debt on the same 
being £1,135. Crook is one of the chapels named in the 
first plan of the Wesleyan preachers in the Bishop 
Auckland Circuit, 1838-9. The meetings were held on 
Sundays every fortnight, at two o'clock in the afternoon. 
On the Bishop Auckland plan of 1871, the Rev. W. M. 
Armistead is designated as minister at Crook, and 
amongst the names of the preachers are — Mr. W. 
Burnip, Mr. J. Spark, Mr. R. Bones, Mr. W. Harland 
(Billy Row), Mr. Ralph Dixon, Mr. J. Askew (Bowden 
Close), Mr. Robert Burnip, Mr. D. Plews, Mr. C. Plewes, 
Mr. G. Hankey, Mr. R. Young (Bowden Close), and 
Mr. W. Smith, the latter on trial. 

Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Burnip were the first to be married 
in this church. 

In connection with the building of the Sunday Schools, 
and other alterations, which cost £1,250, Special Services 
were held on Tuesday, February 2nd, 1875, when the 
Rev. P. McKenzie was present. Mr. Ralph Dixon, in 
his financial statement, showed £127 cash in hand ; 
£300 from members in the town and district ; concert, 
£25 14s. Od. ; foundation-stone laying, etc., £113 16s. 6d. 
— including £20 from J. W. Pease, Esq., and £25 from 
Messrs. Pease and Partners Limited ; Mr. Wardle's 
lectures, £6 9s. Od. ; service of song, £7 19s. 8d. ; Mr. 
McKenzie's visit (including tea party), £80 ; and £25 
from Messrs. Bolckow, Vaughan and Company. The 
Rev. J. J. Phillips is the present superintendent minister. 
The Circuit stewards are — Mr. T. Finley, Fir Tree, and 
Mr. J. H. Anderson, Crook. 

50 History of Crook and District. 


The Primitive Methodist cause in the town has long 
had a healthy following. Fifteen years after the famous 
Camp Meeting at Mow Cop, Mr. Francis Nathaniel 
Jersey, an old-time powerful travelUng preacher, came 
to this district. He preached at Crook on January 
30th, 1822, and a " Society of seven was formed." On 
the following day a prayer meeting was held. Whether 
the society continued we know not, but, a few years 
later. Primitives assembled at Burnt House Farm, near 
Thornley village, followed by a meeting-house being 
obtained somewhere in the vicinity of Mill Street. It 
was not until the forties that anything further is noted. 
On August 9th, 1840, a- Camp Meeting was held at Crook, 
when the preachers were — the Rev. J. Watson, Mr. 
Viokers, Mr. N. Harrison, Mr. J. Hodgson, Mr. Jopling, 
Mr. G. Race, Mr. Walton, Mr. Maddison, and Mr. 

The Crook preaching or mission room was, in this 
year, allied with the Westgate Circuit, and for some 
years, with Bishop Auckland and Waterhouses, was a 
part of the station. Services were held once a month, 
at two p.m. on Sundays. In 1844 the first class, of six 
members, was formed in Crook. In 1847 — on a West- 
gate Circuit plan — Crook, White Lea, and Roddymoor 
are named ; and local preachers resident in the district 
were — Mr. J. Willan, Mr. J. Wilson, Mr. Crozier, Mr. 
Chambers, and Mr. Moor. 

Mr. Jas. Wilson was a "victim" of the miners' strike 
of 1844. It was largely owing to his efforts that a chapel 
was built in 1847. This is the building now known a& 
the " Temperance Hall," and was erected by subscrip- 
tions, with accommodation for about three hundred 
persons. In 1850 the chapel was attached to the Wol- 
singham Circuit. The local preachers included — Mr. 
Jas. Willan, Mr. Jas. Wilson, Mr. Crozier, Mr. Moore, 
Mr. Boddy, and Mr. Johnson. 

History of Crook mid District. 51 

The foundation stone of the present fine building was 
laid on New Year's Day, 1868, by Arthur Pease, Esq. 
The cost was £2,000. Six hundred and fifty sittings 
were provided. There was a procession of Sunday School 
scholars, and a Public Tea was held in the British School- 
room. At a Public Meeting in the chapel, addresses 
were given by the Revs. T. Dods (Presbyterian), G. S. 
Hornsby (New Connexion), J. M. Wilson (Moravian), 
E. Rust (Primitive), L. F. Armitage, Bishop Auckland ; 
C. G. Tetley (Primitive), W. French (Primitive), also 
Messrs. F. Spoor, J. Willan, and J. Wilson ; with Mr. J. 
Kellett as chairman. The preachers on the following 
Sunday, January 5th, were — the Revs. R. Shields, 
Hexham ; C. G. Tetley, Crook ; and W. French, York. 

When the chapel was opened in 1869, there was great 
rejoicing ; and, after two week ends, the following 
financial report was given : — 

£ s. d. 

First Sabbath Collection 40 

Profit from Tea 45 

Collection after Public Meeting 11 2 11^ 

Second Sabbath Collection 32 OJ 

Lecture and Supper 17 

£145 2 Hi 

Since that period there have been many additions and 
improvements. In 1913 there were extensive alterations 
and the installation of a very fine organ. These cost 
over £800. The church, when ready, was re-opened by 
Mr. H. J. Mein. 

The Rev. James Taylor, whilst superintendent of the 
Circuit, died at Crook in 1907. The Rev. Joseph Ruther- 
ford is the present superintendent minister. 


The Presbyterians have been established in Crook 
something like sixty years. 

5'2 History of Crook and District. 

Fifty years ago the present church buildmgs were 
opened for public worship, the foundation stone being 
laid a year earlier, 18th October, 1864. Previous to the 
building of the church, services had been held in a school- 
room in Queen Street, Crook, which had to be entered 
by an outside stair, and still later in the old Mechanics' 
Hall, which stood where Mr. Pollard's shop now stands. 
It was here that the first Communion Service was held, 
and was administered by the Rev. James Potter, of St. 
George's, Newcastle. At that time services were being 
conducted at Tow Law by a probationer of the church, 
called Mr. Dods. He agreed to come to Crook and hold 
a service in the afternoon, and when his engagement at 
Tow Law ended he came to Crook to look after the mis- 
sion there. In some two years a congregation was 
formed, the Rev. Robt. Brown, of Erskine Church, 
Newcastle, receiving certificates and admitting young 
communicants. At length, with the sanction of the 
Newcastle Presbytery (the Durham Presbytery did not 
then exist), a call was given to the Rev. Mr. Dods, who 
was ordained as minister of the congregation in the Old 
Mechanics' Hall. The new church was opened on Whit- 
Monday, 1865, the late Rev. Principal Cairns, then Dr. 
Cairns, of Berwick, preaching. Miss Lamb is the only, 
one left of the original members. Besides the late Rev. 
Mr. Dods, the Revs. W. Murray, A. P. Adamson, F. J. 
Chambers, and G. K. McBean have been ministers 
during the last fifty years. 

The Auckland Times of June 9th, 1865, contained 
an account of the opening of the new church, which we 
reproduce in full. It was as follows : — " A neat, com- 
modious, and comfortable new church in connection with 
the United Presbyterian denomination was opened at 
Crook on Monday by the Rev. Dr. Cairns, of Berwick, 
who preached an eloquent and impressive discourse from 
Malachi iii. 12. In the afternoon a tea meeting was held 
in the Mechanics' Hall, when about two hundred persons 
partook of an excellent tea, and in the evening there was 
a public meeting held in the new church, when interesting 

Histonj of Crook and District. 53 

addresses were delivered by Dr. Cairns, the Revs. 
Thomas Dods, pastor of the congregation ; Richard 
Leitch, Newcastle ; Charles Frisian, Mount Pleasant ; 
and the Rev. Mr. Willey, Crook. The collections which 
were taken during the day and evening amounted to 
£80 13s., a sum which was deemed exceedingly creditable 
to the congregation, seeing that it had been in existence 
only about two years. At the close of the evening meet- 
ing it was intimated that the whole expense of the build- 
ing had been defrayed, and that the treasurer had a 
surplus of nearly £10. On Sunday first the Rev. John 
Bruce, LL.D., Newcastle, will f)reach in the forenoon 
and evening." 

The members of the church intend holding their 
Jubilee Celebrations in September of the present year. 
The Rev. A. F. Darge is the present minister. 


The first meetings of the New Connexions — now known 
as the " United Methodists " — took place in a cottage 
nearly eighty years ago. In the fifties, services were 
held in the old Mechanics' Hall, in North Terrace ; and, 
from 1856, the room known as " Miss Dickenson's 
Schoolroom," was used till the present church was erected 
in 1859. The church was greatly indebted to many 
munificent gifts from the late Joseph Love, Esq., who 
spared no effort to make the church successful. Some 
of the original trustees included such well-known men 
as John Kellett, John Gowland, Thomas Addison, 
Thomas Thompson, George Lax, Robert Renwick, Wm. 
Edgar, and Wm. M. Carr. The latter was also chapel 
organist. The church continues to do much useful 
work, and has long been noted for the excellence of its 


The Baptists first gathered in the Temperance Hall, 
following the departure of the Primitive Methodists to a 
more commodious church. The effort originated on the 
part of a few Baptists who lived at Waterhouses, and who 

5i History of Crook and District. 

continued for a long time to be responsible for the carry- 
ing on of the work. The movement gradually strength- 
ened, and, eventually, the present neat erection was 
raised in Grey Street. The church has a good number 
of members and many Sunday School scholars. Con- 
nected with this church — for over twenty years — was 
the Rev. A. Graham Barton, one of the best-known men 
in the north. He left Crook in 1911 to engage in Tem- 
perance work. Later he was invited to one of London's 
largest churches, where he is still very active as its 
pastor. The Crook Baptists are now under the charge 
of the Rev. A. Westwood, who is much esteemed by the 


The Moravian Church at Crook is unique, inasmuch as 
ifc is the only one of its kind north of Leeds. It is under- 
stood that the original pioneer of this remarkable Crook 
church was one named AUanson, who resided at Wadley 
Farm, Fir Tree. The meetings were first held in a 
schoolroom ; but, in 1862, the present premises were 
secured on the departure of the Wesleyans to their Hope 
Street church. The Moravians have been ablj- served 
by several esteemed ministers, including the Rev. — 
Carey (first minister). Rev. W. Batt, Rev. J. Stinton, 
and the Rev. G. W. McLeavy. The present minister, 
who has only recently commenced duty, is the Rev. F. 

The Welsh Wesleyans have also held services for 
many years in Commercial Street ; whilst the Plymouth 
Brethren have long gathered at their meeting room in 

Grey Street. 


Of the public buildings in the town, the Mechanics' 
Institute is one of the oldest and most important. 
At first the meetings were held in a room, the Institute 
being established on August 9th, 1848. Subsequently, 
subscriptions were received towards the erection of 

History of Crook and District. 55 

a building, and the foundation stone was laid in 1861 
by Mr. James MacLaughlan, a teacher at the Parochial 
School. The premises, which cost some £250 to erect, 
were on the site where Mr. J. H. Pollard's house 
and shop, in North Terrace, now stand. The lower 
storey of the original building was let as a shop, whilst 
the upper room was occupied on Sundays by the members 
of the congregation of the New Connexion Methodists. 
There were about sixty members of the Institute. The 
annual subscription was three shillings for adults and 
two shillings and sixpence for apprentices. Classes 
were established, and lectures were also occasionally 
delivered to the members on various subjects. The 
library contained about seven hundred volumes. The 
necessity for larger accommodation soon became felt, 
and the present commodious edifice was built and opened 
in 1867. It is a stone building, and was erected at a 
cost of £1,000. On February 25th, 1870, a Polytechnic 
Exhibition was held, in an endeavour to reduce a debt 
of £400 which remained on the building. The Rev. 
G. P. Wilkinson, Harperly Hall, president of the Instit- 
ute, performed the opening ceremony. This exhibition 
was one of the most successful efforts ever held in the 
town, and continued for a fortnight. It is stated that 
nearly eight thousand people visited it, and excursions 
were run from Darlington, Bishop Auckland, and other 
places, for the occasion. Mr. Irwin, a well-remembered 
official at the Bankf oot Works, was then secretary to the 
Institute. In the last few years many improvements 
have been made. The building contains a large public 
hall, holding seven hundred persons, a library of nearly 
one thousand three hundred volumes, reading room and 
ante-rooms, and a bilhard room containing two tables. 
The billiard players attached to the place have always 
been of more than average local ability. The member- 
ship varies from two hundred and fifty to three hundred, 
paying an annual subscription of four shillings ; ladies 
paying two shillings. Mr. Edward Milburn, now residing 
at Tow Law, was secretary for some years. He was 

56 History of Crook and District. 

succeeded by Mr. Thomas Burnip, the present respected 
secretary of the local Co-operative Society. Mr. Burnip 
held the post of secretary for twenty-seven years, and 
much of the success attaching to the Institute has been 
the result of his capable handling of its affairs. Mr. E. F. 
Peart is the present secretary, and Mr. Samuel Candler, 
a prominent townsman, is president. The Institute 
possesses a handsome cup, valued at fifty-five guineas, 
which was won outright in a miners' billiard competition 
some years ago. The billiard team, since that success, 
has also won the Bishop Auckland and District League 
championship on five occasions, and the Crook and 
District League once. 


The Temperance Social Club, situate in the Market 
Place, was started in 1903, the opening ceremony being 
performed by the then Alderman Arthur Henderson, 
Darlington, who, latterly, has become a member of the 
Cabinet and the Privy Council, and is now known as the 
Right Hon. A. Henderson, M.P. The Club has achieved 
a considerable amount of success. It has a billiard room 
with two tables. There is also a reading room, and a 
library containing seven hundred volumes. Mr. John 
N. Scales is the present secretary, with Mr. John Hender- 
son as president. The club has recently come into the 
ownership of the Temperance Hall, situated on the south 
side of the Market Place. This building has had a 
somewhat varied career. It was built by the Primitive 
Methodists in 1847, with accommodation for about fovir 
hundred persons. Attached to it were day and Sunday 
schools. Following on the departure of the Primitives 
to their present place of worship, the Hall was used by 
the Baptists, who worshipped here until they came into 
possession of the church in Grey Street. It was next 
utilised by the Temperance Party for their weekly 
gatherings ; and has also, for long years, been used as 
the meeting place, on Sundays, of the Salvation Army. 

History of Crook and District. 57 

There are two Clubs in the town. The Constitutional 
Working Men's Club, opened in 1902, is situate in Church 
Street. The Belle Vue Workmen's Club occupies a 
prominent site in the Market Place. 

The Masonic Lodge was opened in March, 1884, by 
the Marquis of Londonderry, Right Worthy Provincial 
Grand Master. His Lordship arrived at Crook Station 
at mid-day, and drove to the Mechanics' Hall, where the 
lodge was duly opened. Bro. Samuel Holdsworth was 
installed as the new Lodge's first Worshipful Master. 
Other officers were : — Bro. John Ostle, Bro. Wm. Love, 
Bro. Thos. Hardy, Bro. the Rev. Richard Coulton, Bro. 
Richard Proud, Bro. Edward Milburn, Bro. Thos. Young, 
Bro. Wm. Arrowsmith, Bro. Cochrane, Bro. Jas. Ord, 
Bro. Thos. Hall, and Bro. John Dawson. Since that 
time, the Lodge has become one of the most important 
in the county. The Masonic Hall, in Church Street, was 
erected in 1889. The present Worshipful Master is 
Bro. Farrar Morson. 

The Council Schools comprise a fine set of buildings. 
The foundation stone of the first portion to be erected 
was laid on January 23rd, 1866, by Joseph Pease, Esq., 
father of the later Sir J. W. Pease, M.P. The day was 
observed as a holiday. Two thousand children from 
Crook, Billy Row, Stanley, and Sunniside were in the 
procession from the Railway Station. At later periods 
many additions were made ; and, finally, a splendid new 
erection was placed on an adjoining site, and opened on 
January 14th, 1914, by Councillor Wm. Pallister, J. P. 
This building cost over £5,300. Mr. James Tillotson is 
the present head master. 

A successful private school has also been carried on 
for many years by Mr. and Mrs. James Wilson. For- 
merly they held the premises which is now the Rectory. 
The school is known as the " Gracehill Academy," and 
is situate in Dawson Street. 

The late General Booth, founder of the Salvation 
Army, held a service in the Wesleyan Church in 1904. 

5H History of Crook and District. 

The White Lea Drift was closed in 1904. Over three 
hundred men and boys were thrown out of employment, 
though most of them were taken on at the other local 

Mr. Henry Whitfield died in 1904 at the age of seventy-* 
nine years. He came to Crook in 1844, and conducted 
a successful business in Hope Street. He was one of the 
founders of the Primitive Church in the town ; and, 
right up to the time of his decease, took a prominent and 
helpful part in all its affairs. 

Mr. Thomas Hardy, one of the leading officials at the 
Bankfoot Works, died in 1906. He worked at Bankfoot 
for fifty-six years. 

Mr. William Burnip, secretary and manager of the 
local Co-operative Stores for forty years, and Mr. Thomas 
Pedelty, treasurer to the Stores for forty-one years, both 
died in 1906. 

Mr. Ralph Dixon, West Road House, also died in the 
early part of the same year. He was clerk to the old 
School Board for twenty-nine years, and had a long 
service on the Local Council and the Auckland Board of 
Guardians. In the seventies, he was secretary to the 
Mechanics' Institute. He also rendered a lifelong service 
to the cause of Wesleyan Methodism. 

Stanley Drift was closed in 1911. 

On August 15th, 1912, there was a sad calamity at the 
Bankfoot Works, when Edward Reed, foreman brick- 
layer. Candle Villa, Crook, and Robert Morris, grease 
maker at the Bankfoot Bye-Product Works, lost their 
lives while endeavouring to rescue men who had been 
overcome by gas in a tar-still at the Bankfoot Works. 
On the same occasion, Benjamin B. Race, blacksmith, 
and William Bage, fitter, risked their lives in efforts to 
rescue the men who had b\3en overcome. These facts 
were placed before the notice of the " Carnegie Hero 
Fund " trustees, and they made the following awards : — 
" The widow of Edward Reed to receive a memi- 
orial medallion and an allowance of twenty-five 

History of Crook and District. 59 

shillings per week for herself and two children. The 

parents of Robert Morris to receive a memorial 

medallion. Benjamin Race and William Bags to 

receive the sum of £10 each and an honorary 


Mr. John Bell, relieving officer for thirty-five years, 

died in 1912. He took a prominent part in the town's 

affairs ; and it was largely owing to a telling speech on 

his part that a proposition to buy — a few years ago — 

new ground for burial purposes failed to carry in 1906. 

Mr. John Smith, the veteran Bankfoot cricketer, died 

in the early months of the present year (1915). He 

worked as a ookeburner at the Bankfoot Works for sixty 

years, and was well known all over the county. 

Following upon the sinking of the " Lusitania," an 
anti-German eioidemic broke out in the town. The 
climax came in May, when a crowd, estimated at seven 
thousand persons, gathered in Hope Street shortly after 
nine o'clock on Saturday night. A general riot ensued, 
and two butchers' shops were destroyed, and their 
contents thrown into the streets. The proceedings did 
not cease till three o'clock on Sunday morning. Many 
arrests .were subsequently made by the police, and heavy 
fines were inflicted. 

" Watergate Farm," one of the most picturesque in 
the district, is an old place — exactly how old is not 
known, but evidence of its antiquity came to light about 
six years ago, when, in an old walled-up room, on 
entrance being made, there were found a spinning-wheel — 
which crumbled to dust on contact with the air — and a 
cresset stone. The latter was in a fine state of preserva- 
tion. These stones date back many centuries, and few 
are in existence. They contain holes, which were filled 
with grease and tallow ; a wick being inserted, to provide 
light for the monks in their early morning worship and 
other functions. 

Sport has always had plenty of followers. " Buck- 
stick " was a great game in the sixties, and cricket also 

Top — Chi-rch Steekt. Centre — Military Row. 

Boftojii — Railway Station. 

History of Crook and District. 61 

secured a hold early on, and was continued right up to 
two years ago, when the town itself had no recognised 
leading club, though " Peases West " still continues. 
Years ago there was also a good Rugby football club. 
This lapsed, and, four j'^ears ago, another one was 
started, but this also has become defunct. The town 
football team has long been recognised as one of the best 
amateur organisations in the north. They won the 
English Amateur Cup in 1901-2, and the Northern League 
Championship in 1914-15. The cricketers also gained 
many successes in the local leagues and cup competitions. 
Many sterling players have been produced, both by the 
Crook and Bankfoot Clubs. 

The town has two benefactions connected with its 
career — the " Dobbinson " Charity and the " Bernard 
Bryan " Charity. 

The " Dobbinson" Charity originated as far back as 1662 
— the year, by the way, in which the Act of Uniformity 
was passed — when Anne Dobbinson left £66 13s. 4d. 
in trust, directing that the income should be divided 
among the poor of certain townships in the ancient 
parish of Brancepeth in the following proportions : 
Willington, nine-sixteenths ; Helmington, Crook, and 
Billy Row, three-sixteenths ; other townships in Brance- 
peth parish, four-sixteenths. In 1745 the money was 
invested in about seven acres of land at Willington, the 
rent whereof was £9 per year. There was a cottage on 
the land, and in 1823 this was converted into a school- 
house and let for £1. In 1827, the records show, the 
total income of £10 was divided thus : Willington, 
£5 12s. 6Jd. ; Helmington, 14s. 3-^d. ; Crook and Billy 
Row, £1 3s. 2-^-d. ; Brancepeth, 15s. 6d. ; Brandon, 
£1 2s. 4d. ; Stockley, 3s. e^d. ; Tudhoe, 8s. 7d. ; the 
last four places being the parts of the ancient parish of 
Brancepeth specified in the bequest. For thirty years 
the money appears to have been regularly distributed 
among the deserving poor of the parishes in sums varying 

62 History of Crook and District. 

from one to three shillings, but in 1857 application was 
made to the County Court for an order establishing a 
scheme whereby the income from the charity was to be 
applied to the benefit of five schools in the parish of 
Brancepeth, three-sixteenths to go to the Crook schools 
for the purpose of affording gratuitous instruction to not 
less than three poor children of either sex without refer- 
ence to their religious persuasion. 

Thus the " Dobbinson " bequest became an educational 
charity, and all went smoothly until the year 1868, when 
the Rector of Brancepeth, as chairman of the trustees, 
informed the Charity Commissioners that the Crook 
Church of England Schools had been closed, and sug- 
gested that as the nearest Church of England School to 
Crook was at Waterhouses, Crook's share of the charit}' 
should be paid to that school. The Commissioners, 
however, replied that it was not clearly stated that the 
school at Waterhouses was capable of affording instruc- 
tion to the children of residents in Crook, Billy Row, 
and Helmington, adding that if it was, the suggestion 
might be a proper one. No reply to this letter seems to 
have been sent by the Rector, and Crook's share of the 
interest was left in abeyance until the year 1880, when 
the Commissioners ordered it to be applied to the other 
parts of Brancepeth's ancient parish. Meanwhile the 
charity had been accumulating and increasing. In 1868 
some of the land was sold and the purchase money in- 
vested in £438 10s. 3d. Consols, the remainder of the land 
and cottages being let for £19 per year, and thus the total 
income had become £32 3s. Id. In 1874 the remainder 
of the land^^and the cottages were sold and the money 
invested in £811 16s. 8d. Consols, the annual income 
then amounting to £34 7s. 8d. In 1879 the Charity 
Commissioners were informed that Crook's accumulated 
interest in the bank amounted to £259 4s. 5d., and this 
they ordered to be invested in Consols, of which £264 17s. 
were purchased. It was the interest of this sum that 
had thenceforward to be applied to the other townships. 

History of Crook and District. 63 

Crook's Share. 

So matters went until 1895, when parish councils 
came into being, and one of the first things that the 
Crook Parish Council did was to communicate with the 
Charity Commissioners, pointing out that since the clos- 
ing of the Church Schools in the township, Crook's share 
of the charity had been applied to other schools, so that 
Crook derived no benefit from it at all. In January, 
1898, the Commissioners made another order directing 
that the income of the £264 17s. Consols and three- 
sixteenths of the income of the £1,250 6s. lid. Consols 
should be applied in granting prizes or rewards to child- 
ren attending the public elementary schools. By a 
report to the Commissioners for the year ending May, 
1901, the sum of £13 6s. 7d. was shown to have been paid 
to the Crook School Board and apphed in the provision 
of prizes as ordered. But since 1904, when the County 
Council became the education authority for the whole of 
the county of Durham, the part of the income claimed by 
Crook does not seem to have been applied. The trustees, 
indeed, informed the Durham Education Committee in 
1911 that the accumulated interest on Crook's share of 
the capital since 1904 amounted to £99 15s. 4d. The 
County Committee cannot administer the charity, being 
informed by the Board of Education that it is not 
affected by the proviso of section 3 of the Education Act. 
It has been suggested that Higher Education Scholar- 
ships for Crook children should be founded, but the 
trustees, apparently, do not favour the suggestion. 
Some time since an agitation was begun at Crook, and 
taken up at Willington, with a view to getting back the 
use of the charity, and the Crook Urban Council have 
agreed to summon a conference which will be attended 
by representatives of all the local authorities in the 
district concerned — the Crook, Wilhngton, Spennymoor 
(Tudhoe), Brandon and Byshottles Urban Councils, and 
the Brancepeth and Helmington Row Parish Councils. 
The result will, no doubt, be an apphcation to the Charity 

64 History of Crook and District. 

Commission for an enquiry as a preliminary to an order 
for the application of the income to higher educational 

The " Bernard Bryan " Charitj- originated through 
one Bernard Bryan, a coke worker, employed at the 
Bankfoot Coke Ovens, who devoted his life's savings 
towards providing a charity to be dispensed at Christmas 
time to a certain number of poor people. Five shillings 
per head was granted a few years ago ; but, latterly, the 
amount given has been three shillings and sixpence to 
each person entitled to benefit. 

There are other places — including the famous works 
at Bankfoot — in the town which are worthy of a record ; 
but these, together with numerous items of interest, 
will perhaps, at some future period, be more fully dealt 
with. What has been written in the previous pages will, 
we think, be read with interest bj' all resident in the 
town and district, and also by many who have left 
their " calf -yard " for other lands. 


Corn Mill, Flour and Provision Society 


History of Society. 

Chapter I. 

'ZT'UGUST 26th, 1915, to local Co-operators, stands 
(v/«-^ out as a red-letter day, for it witnessed the com- 
pletion of half-a-century's operations of our 
Societjr. The seed, pregnant with the fruitfulness of 
Co-operation, planted fifty years ago, has stood the strain 
of storm and time more than successfully, and the giant 
tree of business we have to-day is the result. 

Who of the small band of workers of 1864 and 1865 
would dream that they were the pioneers of an effort 
which was to attain such remarkable proportions, 
and create such innumerable benefits for their fellow- 
men ? Carrying our mind's eye back to the middle 
of the sixties, we can see the little group gathered 
together in the first shop in Wheatbottom. It is a 
committee meeting. The only chair in the place 
is occupied by the chairman. The other members 
of the committee have found a seat as best they 
can. Some sit on the counter ; one or two are on 
boxes ; and other two have found the small barrels of 

> V I 

Wii.LiAM jAcivSfjN ( Wateiiionses), 
Presiaent, 191u. 


Our Society's History. 67 

powder to be a suitable resting-place. The shelves are 
not too well filled with goods, for money as yet has not 
rolled in abundantly to the till. The light for the room 
is from a tallow dip. Truly a weird scene, and more like 
a gathering of conspirators than a meeting of men who 
we can see are intent on a movement for the betterment 
of the working-class population in the district. We see 
on their faces a dourness and determination which are 
bound to command success. They tackle dif&cult prob- 
lems with the same calmness as if they were discussing 
the buying of a new door-latch ; the buying of even a 
door-latch is given the same keen consideration as the 
larger purchases receive. Presentlj' the manager of the 
shop gives to each member of the board a cup, into which 
he pours tea. It is a new sample, and these men believe 
in the market-woman's maxim : " Try before I buy." 
At last the business is got through, and whilst some go 
straight home, one or two maybe call at Joe Botham's, 
at the " Sun Inn," just for a " nightcap." 

And thus their programme went on week after week, 
month after month. One or two fell away, but the 
majority stuck to their guns, and many lived to see the 
glorious harvest of helpfulness spread out to thousands 
of Co-operators every year ; all the result of the first tiny 
seed they had sown. 

In the first three or four years several happenings 
occasioned much discouragement. These troubles now 
and again threatened the continuance of the establish- 
ment, but they were finally overcome, and the business 
increased rapidly, every half-year showing large increases 
•over the previous period. A comparison of figures with 
those of other societies shows our Society in a very 
favourable light, so far as rapidity of progress may be 
measured. From the start, the membership and sales 
jumped by leaps and bounds in a manner which can only 
be adjectived as " remarkable." For this the excellent 
committees of management ; the capable master work- 
ing hands ; the consistent support of the members ; 

68 Our Society's History. 

the solidity of the Society's financial position ; all 
alike can be credited in due proportion as contributory 
factors in the successes which have obtained. 

The particular individuals and the several matters 
all receive our attention in future pages, so we proceed 
now to the first part of the wider story. 

We have seen in the history of the town how it first 
came into notice bj^ reason of its connection with a 

The proposal to erect another corn-mill adjacent to 
one which had stood some four hundred years was finally 
ended by the commencing of a Co-operative Store. 

It was a corn -mi 11 on paper only, and never as a build- 
ing had an existence. But it was out of the chaos of its 
troublous affairs that our Store was given birth on 
August 26th, 1865. 

The population of the parish of Crook and Billy Eow 
in the fifties was nearing the 6,000 mark, and we can be 
certain that in the number were many who had already 
sampled the Co-operative Movement in both Lancashire 
and Yorkshire, and could testify to its greatness. They 
would know it had met a long-felt want, and, m all parts 
of the North, success after success was being chronicled, 
following in the steps of the first effort by the famous 
Rochdale pioneers in the forties. The working classes 
were just awakening to the fact that thej' could he a more 
important power throughout the land than had hitherto 
been the case, and in Co-operation was promised a means 
by which they became the holder of the whip and a vaca- 
tion of the position of the top. They had long been spun 
round for the benefit of a few others. At last had been 
solved a problem how they themselves might do the 
spinning and reap the benefits. 

Between the j'^ears 1851-1860 some 145 societies were 
founded in various parts of the country, but Durham 
County had previously been broken as a Co-operative 
ground. This was in 1842, when the Teesdale Workmen's 
Industrial and Provident Societ3' was formed. In 1858 

Our Society's History. 69 

the Blaydon District Industrial and Provident Society 
comnienced, whilst 1859 saw the launch of the Sunder- 
land Economical and Industrial Society. Our neigh- 
bours, the Bishop Auckland Co-operative Society, started 
its operations in 1860. 

Meanwhile, our own local people had not missed the 
touch of the Co-operative spirit, which was so soon to 
become an important factor all over the country, for in 
Crook a first effort in running a Co-operative store was 
made in 1850. Who initiated the movement we know 
not. The store we do know became a reality, but ajDpar- 
ently its career was of very few months' duration. The 
premises were in Commercial Street, and afterwards 
Mere used by the late Mr. John Gibbon as a butcher's 

One of those most activelj^ identified with this first 
store was the late Mr. Isaac Wilson, who for many years 
had a business as a druggist in North Terrace. If not 
actually the pioneer of Co-operation in the town, y^et 
Mr. Wilson must have been one of the first workers in the 
local movement ; and we find him later, in 1864, taking 
a very prominent part in the formation of a Co-operative 
Corn Mill, and he was almost invariably elected to the 
chair at the different meetings. 

There was also another Co-operative arrangement 
"amongst a few working-men, but at what date we have 
not been able to discover. The movement was to a great 
extent very similar to one which had been successfully 
worked in Glasgow in 1844. This consisted of the pur- 
chase of four different articles of food in quantities 
sufficient for a month. Each shareholder, or, to use a 
better term, each Co-operator — for there were no mone- 
tary shares — paid for just as much as he required for 
the month. A system of credit was also introduced, 
which permitted the payment to be made in four instal- 
ments. Two of these early Crook Co-operators used to 
make the journey to Sunderland every month, and on 
their return the supplies were distributed amongst the 

70 Our Society's History. 

subscribers, each according to his requirements. The 
method to us of a later age may appear crude, yet it was 
based on a good foundation. Each person knew how 
many goods he required, and this was, as a rule, paid for 
in advance. There was no waste or leakage, and the 
goods were considerably cheaper, for the profits of the 
middle-man were not to be encountered. It was true 
Co-operation in many ways. The goods reached the 
consumer straight from the producer or manufacturer, 
and in a humble way may have been likened unto our 
present Co-operative Wholesale Society Limited, which, 
by its creation, enables our Stores to purchase supplies 
without providing profit or plunder, as it is sometimes — 
perhaps not incorrectly — termed, for the middle-man. 

Chapter II. 

B(> interwoven is the life histoiy of the Corn Mill 
with the present Co-operative Societ^y that, to 
bring about a proper connection of events, we give 
the particulars relating to the promotion of a Corn Mill. 
It may here be stated that it was this effort which was 
responsible for the inclusion of " Corn Mill " in the 
Society's registered name, an item which has oft-times 
been questioned. 

The gatherings of our carty Co-operators assembled in 
the Parochial Hall — the present Urban Council Offices. 

.Toii.N SiDiii.i;, Fir^t Secretary. 

If the stones of the old building could only speak, we 
can be certain they would 3'ield an interesting story of 
our town and its affairs. 

72 Oar Society's History. 

The first meeting was held on March 4th, 1864, and 
the second four days later, on March 8th. There is no 
record of what business was done at these meetings 
bej^ond a list of those appointed to constitute a com- 
mittee. There wer6, however, 1,600 prospectuses issued, 
and these were headed, " Crook Co-operative Corn Mill 
Society. Capital, £1,700, in 1,700 shares of £1 each. 
Entrance fee. Is. per share." The promoters must have 
had great faith in their effort to expect such a capital 
finally being taken up. This optimism must subse- 
quently have suffered, for the capital subscribed never 
reached £70. 

From the following list of members of the committee, 
it will be seen that all classes representative of a town 
such as Crook then would be, were represented. A few 
never got beyond this first committee stage, not even to 
the extent of taking out a single share in encouragement 
of the effort. We believe the list contains the names of 
no one now living. Probably Mr. William Buston, who 
died about two years ago, was the last of these first 

Joseph Jackson, Tailor, Commercial Street. 
Isaac Wilson, Druggist, North Terrace. 
William Willoughby, Coke Burner, Arthur 

Christopheb Bowsbe, Farmer, Marshall Green. 
Benjamin Mbtcale, Brick Agent, Marshall Green. 
Robert Booth, Grocer, Etherley Lane. 
John Brown, Tailor, Dove Fold Bank. 
Thomas Hildrbth, Farmer, Roddymoor. 
Thomas Dodds, Shoemaker, Church Street. 
John Robinson, Labourer, Caby's Row. 
Thomas Hall, Coke Burner, Caby's Row. 
John Taylor, Labourer, Crook. 
John Siddle, Labourer, Arthur Street. 
Edward Brougham, Contractor, Wilkie's Square. 
William Buston, Joiner, South Street. 
Thomas Rainb, Nail-man, Wheatbottom. 

Oar Society's History. 73 

William Oddy, Butcher, Witton-le-Wear. 
RiCHABD BoTJSFiBLD, Mason, Ratten Row. 
George Lister, Mason, Hope Street. 
John Cowan, Auctioneer, Elliott Street. 
George Vasey, Auctioneer, Crook. 

The original minute book used at the meetings is still 
in existence. Of the penny-exercise variety, it is now 
yellow with age, and in parts dilapidated and undecipher- 
able. It remtains an interesting link with the past, and 
at the same time breathes out a living, unconquerable 
message — " We worked not in vain." 

The records of the business carried out at each meeting 
are short, but to the point. The book was first used on 
March 21st, 1864, when we read as follows : — 

" Minutes taken at the meeting held at the 
Parochial Hall, March 21st, 1864. 

" Proposed that a committee of four or five be 
appointed to look out a suitable piece of land to 
build a mill, etc., on. 

" The committee appointed were : — 

Mr. Isaac Wilson. 

Mr. George Willoughby. 

Mr. Joseph Ritson. 

Mr. Jonathan Hutchinson. 

Mr. George Lister. 

Mr. Edward Brougham. 

" Meetings were arranged to be held at Water- 
houses, Witton-le-Wear, and Tow Law, and the 
deputations appointed to the various places were : — 

Mr. Isaac Wilson. 

Mr. John Siddle. 

Mr. George Willoughby. 

Mr. Joseph Ritson. 

Mr. Jambs Horn. 

7J: Our Society's History. 

Mr. Gargbtt. 

Mr. William Willoughby. 
Mr. Joseph Jackson. 
" The bell to be sent out, and we allow the bell- 
man Is. 6d." 
These minutes are in the handwriting of Mr. John 
Siddle. There is no record of his appointment as secre- 
tary, but this was his post, judging from the minutes, 
right from the start. Neither is the appointment of 
Mr. George Willoughby, as treasurer, mentioned. 

At the second meeting it was decided to ask Mr. 
Douglas and Mr Watkin " to help the cause of Co-opera- 
tion by taking out shares." Other business done was 
the appointment of the following as a committee of 
management : — 

Mr. William Wanless. 

Mr. William Willoughby. 

Mr. Michael Tuenbull. 

Mr. Edward Brougham. 

Mr. James Horn. 

Mr. Thomas Gargett, 

Mr. George Lister. 

Mr. Joseph Ritson. 

Mr. Thomas Dodds. 

At a meeting on April 12th, reports were read 
regarding two sites — one belonging to Mr. Hall, and the 
other at the " Balaklava Inn." Mr. George Lister was 
appointed to examine and report on Mr. Hall's land, and 
Mr. Joseph Ritson had to perform the same duties 
touching the land at the " Balaklava Inn." The 
latter, of course, is a reference to the well-known " Bala- 
clava Inn " at the bottom of Church Hill, and as a site 
must have been favourably situated for such a venture 
as a corn-mill, adjacent, as it is, to the Crook or Beech- 
burn Beck. It finally proved the more attractive of the 
two sites, for, on Wednesday, April 20th, it was agreed : — 
" That the " Balaklava " site be bought, and 

that 1,000 cards be issued at once." 

Our Society's History. 75 

The cards were for the purpose of collecting money 
towards the scheme, and also as a means by which 
intending shareholders could gradually, by small instal- 
ments, become the holders of one or more shares. 

A public meeting was held on May 2nd, over which 
Mr. Isaac Wilson presided. The committee's reports 
were made relati*i6' to the work which had been done, 
and were accepted as satisfactory. 

On May 11th, Mr. Ritson, Mr. Brougham, and Mr. 
Gargett were appointed as a deputation " to wait on 
Mr. John Kellett and Mr. Watkins, to ask them to take 
shares and use their influence." Mr. Isaac Wilson and 
Mr. Willoughby were elected to attend a meeting at 
Witton, and Mr. Ritson and Mr. Gargett had to visit 
Tow Law. Mr. Arthur Pease, Mr. Thomas Daw, and 
Mr. Joseph Fryer, Smelt House, were also to be invited 
to become trustees. 

The first mention of any money payments is on May 
25th, when £2 5s. 7d. was paid to Mr. Linton for Printing, 
and 3s. 6d. to Mr. Richard Fox, the town crier and 

Mr. Pease, Mr. Daw, and Mr. Fryer apparently did not 
accept the position of trustees, and on June 29th, Mr. 
Edward Brougham was appointed a trustee, and Mr. 
Chas. C. Wilson and Dr. Walter M. D. Kelly were to be 
asked co become the other two trustees. 

Matters progressed fairly rapidly, and on July 13th, 

Mr. Joseph Hackworth was instructed to draw up a plan 

as early as possible. On this day also it was carried : — 

■' That Mr. George Willoughby be bound in the 

sum of £150 ; Mr. Tweedy, of Stockton, being his 


On July 20th, it was decided : — 

■' That the money in the hands of Mr. Willoughby 
be at once placed in the Bank at the Post Office, 
in the names of the Treasurer, Secretary, and Mr. 
Edward Brougham." 

ri()XKJ':KS (1). 

WjIJ.lAM Bl.ANI). 

Hf.miy BnwKs, fine of the First CoiiiiiiitteL-. 
Cli;iiniiaii, IH^l, JH8'2, 1H83. 
AVm. Bihnii', Sk.M!., CouiinittL-e-iii;iii, IHIir.. 
ulirT nf Will. l^,iirniii, Intr Sijcretary ilh.I Manager. 

Adam Suddk'k, 
Old Committee-inan. 

'J'HoMAS Pf. VHSiiN. 

William WiLLorcjHEV, Ccniiinittee-ni 


One nf thf Pioneers in Crook. Coniniittee-niaii, ibti.' 

Thomas Wativlf, Old Me)Mb<_r of Couutiil tee. 
William Haiikisun-, J.>ii\ Am^man, 

Cummittee-man iy6;3. ConiiiiitN-e-iitan, l>;fls. 

Gkuhi.k Ba 

78 Our Society's History. 

August 3rd saw a motion carried : — 

" That £30 be put in the Bank on August 4th "; 
and this left a balance in hand of £6 17s. Id. Whatever 
other progress may have been made, it could hardly be 
said that the finances were very rosy. 

At the next meeting, on August 10th, the report of the 
proceedings is somewhat quaintly worded : — 

" Publick Meeting in the Institute on August 10th, 
when the Committee Meeting resigned, and proposed 
that the Mill be prosecuted with vigour and a new 
Committee elected, consisting of : — 

Mr. Thomas Groves, 

Mr. Joseph Jackson, 

Mr. Thomas Raine, 

Mr. Edward Brougham, 

Mr. William Willouohby, 

Mr. William Elgby, 

Mr. John Robinson, 

Mr. Joseph Ritson, 
with those in office ; and that Mr. Edward Brougham 
be a trustee, with Mr. Michael TurnbuU and Mr. 
Bowser, Witton-le-Wear." 

On August 17th it was decided : — 

" That Mr. Thomson be requested to measure 
the land for the Mill and order deeds for payment 
of the same. 

" That the Treasurer receive the sum of £2 for his 
treasurership for one year, and that the Secretary 
be paid £1 10s. Od. for the first six months com- 
mencing from the 17th August." 

On September 7th it was passed : — 

" That the form of Rules from John Todd Pratt 
be passed with additional alterations." 

Mr. Pratt was the Registrar of Friendly Societies. 

Our Society's History. 79 

It was next decided, on September 28th : — 

" That the money, £40, be put in Messrs. Back- 
house's Bank at Bishop Auckland. 

" That any person going on the business of this 

Society, be paid after the rate of 4 shillings and with 

railway fares." 

Mr. Siddle and Mr. Ritson were elected to go to Shildon 

to order books ; and Mr. Wilson was appointed to wait 

on Mr. Kellett to ask him to become a Trustee. 

Delay on the part of the printer was responsible for 
the entry on October 19th : — 

" That Mr. Linton be wrote to, stating that if the 
Rules be not forthcoming by Monday, the 24th 
inst., 5 per cent, be deducted for every day after 
that time, and if Mr. Linton cannot abide by that 
resolution that they remain on hand." 

Mr. W. D. Trotter was presumably engaged as solicitor 
to the Society, and he was waited on by Mr. G. 
Willoughby to — 

" Enquire whether the trust-money must be 
taken up at once, or at what time this Society can 
have the use of it." 

It was decided on December 7 th : — 

" That the specifications lay at Mr. Willoughby s ; 
sealed tenders to be sent to Mr. W. D. Trotter, the 
same to be advertised in the Auckland Herald and 
the Durham Chronicle as soon as possible." 

The first meeting in the year 1865 was held on January 
4th, and two important resolutions were passed : — 

" That a room be built in connection with the 
MiU, for the convenience of the members, capable 
of containing not less than 350 people. 

" That the subject of a Co-operative Store be 
taken into consideration next meeting." 

Here was evidence of the progress made and of the 
ambition it excited. Shares were being taken up in a 

noNEERS (3). 
JcHN' RoBissuK, Old Comiiiittee-inan. 

A r.E-\ANlJEK Phknch. 

John Coates, 

Old CommiMee-inan 

and Auditor. 

Benjamin Coates, >'' 

Old Committee-man. V^, 

pr(}M':Ei";s (-[) 

82 Our Society's History. 

fairly satisfactory manner, and the committee were 
already looking ahead. The decision to discuss the 
question of commencing a store gives us visions of an 
immediate unanimity that a move in this direction would 
promptly follow. But our shook comes at the next 
meeting, on January 11th, when, with Mr. Wilson in the 
chair, it was — 

" Moved and carried that the last minute of the 
former meeting be rescinded." 

It is a blunt record, and reads as a rude check to the 
sympathisers of the idea of a store. Their success, 
however, came later. At the same meeting it was 
decided to hold weekly meetings of the committee. The 
minute reads : — 

" Moved and carried that a chareman take the 
chare every Wednesday evening at Half Past Eight 

On January 25th it was intimated that Mr. G. 
Willoughby had resigned the post of treasurer, and Mr. 
John Mitohinson was appointed to the vacancy. 

The rebuff on January 11th was soon challenged by the 
store enthusiasts, and on February 15th they carried 
the day, for it was — 

" Moved and seconded, and unanimously carried, 
that a General Meeting of Members be called to take 
into consideration the making of By-Laws and 
commencing a Store in connection with the Mill of 
the Crook Mill Company Limited, and that the 
meeting be called the first week after the Mill is let." 
The secretary' was — 

" Reinstated at a salary of £2 10s. Od. for the 
next 6 months." 

Immediately following this, a hitch occurred in the 
negotiations for the land, and on March 23rd, Mr. W. 
Willoughby, Mr. J. Siddle, and Mr. W. Atkinson were 
appointed — 

" To look out a site for the Mill." 

Our Society's History. 83 

The land which had been under consideration was 
owned by Mrs. Storey, Durham, and the deputation 
either was unsuccessful in their quest for a new site, or 
the committee again became enamoured of their first 
choice, for on March 29th it was. carried — 

" That the wall on the ground purchased for the 
MiU be paid for, the sum being £7." 

The purchase, however, was not at this time completed, 
for Mr. Willoughby had to visit Durham to interview 
Mrs. Storey, and the decision to buy the ground was 
made on April 17th, when it was carried — 

" That the land be accepted at the price offered 
to us, £65 ; and that the Mill be advertised this 
week on the authority of Mr. Trotter." 

We here note that several of the meetings were held 
in Arthur Street, in the houses of Mr. W. Willoughby 
and Mr. Siddle. The houses are now known as " The 
Gardens," and are owned and occupied by Mr. W. 

We also find, on March 29th, a first mention of Mr. 
Henry Bowes, Waterhouses, and on April 5th, of Mr. 
Thomas Pedelty. Both men right away took a big part 
in the movement. Mr. Bowes early on became chairman, 
Avhilst Mr. Pedelty, after a few weeks, became treasurer. 

Resuming our perusal of the records, on May 17th it 
was carried — 

" That Mr. John Mitehinson be asked to make 
specification for House, Cart Shed and Stable, 
and that he be reminded that we must have a 
room to meet in." 

The Mill advertisement was ordered to be placed in 
the Durham Chronicle and the Auckland Herald, on 
May 12th. 

On June 7th it was agreed — 

" To call a General Meeting of Members for June 
21st, and that the tenders be acknowledged." 

Thomas Pi\ , 

Pioneer ami Treasure 
lH6r. to 100r>. 

Our Society's Hiatoiti. 85 

The special meeting was brimful of proceedings of a 
far-reaching character. The reading between the lines 
gives us a preliminary sound of the death-knell of the 
Mill project. The chairman was the Rev. Thomas 
Dods, who was the first minister attached to the Crook 
Presbyterian Church. He was chairman on .several 
occasions, but drew the hne at officiating in this position 
when the meetings later on were held in the " Sun Inn." 

At the meeting it was moved — 

" That the Bishop Auckland Mill be seen and 
enquiries be made as to whether it is to be let." 
As an amendment it was moved and carried — 
" That the Auckland Mill be laid aside." 

The next item of business was a proposal carried unani- 
mously — 

" That the present funds of the Society be used 
to comilience a Store, to be repaid to the Mill 
Account ; that the present shareholders allow their 
profits in the Store to accumulate to the value of £1, 
that is one share in the Store ; that all new members 
entering the Store to pay down their share, or shares, 
to the value of £1 per share, and their profits in the 
Store to accumulate to the value of a share in the 
Mill, and be handed to the Mill Account." 

The Auckland Mill here mentioned was somewhat of a 
drag on the Bishop Auckland Co-operative Society's 
first efforts, and we take the following extracts from that 
Society's excellent Jubilee History, prepared by Mr. T. 
Redshaw, secretary : — 

" The Corn Mill Society appears never to have 
been a very robust or flourishing concern. It was 
run on small lines, and was often crippled for want 
of capital, but it was a plucky attempt on the part 
of these men to tackle the thorny question of pro- 
duction. In 1867 the Mill got into difficulties, and 
the committee of this Society agreed to grant them 
a loan of £10. In the following year the Mill failed. 

86 Our Societij's History. 

its fall being hastened by the sudden disappearance 
of its manager. The Co-operative Provision Society 
as a whole did not seem to be seriously affected by 
the fall, but many of the members in their individual 
capacity would be sufferers. Strenuous efforts 
were put forth to lighten the blow. Appeals were 
issued by Mr. Moore, then manager of the Store, 
to all Co-operative Societies in the County, which 
were fairly generously responded to." 

Our own Society were among the contributors, a 
grant of £1 being made on August 23rd, 1871. Maybe 
it was a gift of thankfulness that thej' themselves had 
not embarked on what to others proved a hazardous 

Judging from the records, the Crook Mill Account at 
this period (August, 1864) would have to its credit a sum 
of about £70 — all the contributions of intending share- 
holders. These latter continued their connection with 
the newer effort, and may really be stated to have con- 
stituted the first members of the Society. Arrangements 
were afterwards made whereby anyone who had joined 
for the purposes of the Mill and wished to withdraw, 
was to be paid out as the funds of the Society 
permitted. Almost everyone appears to have been 
content to identify themselves with the Store, and the 
following is a list of these first persons who joined for the 
erection of a mill, compiled as accurately as possible from 
the old books, which contain both Mill and Store mem- 
bers' names : — 

March 1 . . Joseph Jackson, Tailor, Crook. 

„ 4. .Isaac Wilson, Druggist, Crook. 

4. .William Btjston, Joiner, South Street. 
April 4. .Joseph Jopling, Brakesman, Bowden Close. 

May 18. .Ralph Young, Miner, Mount Pleasant. 

18. .John Willoughby, Labourer, Crook. 
Sept. 17. .John Gowland, Miner, White Lea. 

23. .Roger Halliday, Miner, Quebec. 
25. .William Mayor, Coke Drawer, Waterhouses. 

Oitr Society's History. 87 

Oct. 5. .John Oversby, Miner, Oakenshaw. 

5. .William Jones, senior, Miner, Mount Pleasant. 

5 . . William Jones, junior, Miner, Mount Pleasant. 

5. .William Bestfobd, Miner, Waterhouses. 

5 . . Thomas Pedelty, Coke Burner, Bankfoot. 

5. .Michael McPabtland, Joiner, Grahamsley. 

5 . . Dorothy PATERSON,Widow, Job's Hill. 

5. .William Pateeson, Joiner, Job's Hill. 

5. .William Atkinson, Miner, Bowden Close. 

5 . . Thomas Groves, Labourer, Crook. 

5. .John Dowson, Blacksmith, Wheatbottom. 

5 . . Robert Longstaff, Coke Burner, White Lea. 

5 . . Patrick Henry, Miner, Wheatbottom. 

5 . . Thomas Johnson, Tailor, Tow Law. 

5 . . George Lister, Grocer, Tow Law. 

5. .Rev. Thomas Dods, Presbyterian Minister, 

5 . . Stephen Brougham, Coke Burner, Crook. 

5 . . George Murray, Miner, Waterhouses. 

5 . . Robert Bell, Miner, Waterhouses. 
Nov. 10. .William Harrison, Blacksmith, Bowden Close. 

18. .Thomas Calvert, Miner, Wheatbottom. 
30. .Richard Wilkinson, Labourer, Wheatbottom. 

9. .Mary Mitchinson, Widow, Crook. 
16. .John Walton, Miner, Bowden Close. 
16. .Michael Glen, Miner, Crook. 
16. .Thomas Atkinson, Miner, Job's Hill. 
Dec. 7.. Mary O'Neil, Wheatbottom. 

7. .Margaret O'Neil, Wheatbottom. 

7.. Charles Patrick O'Neil, Wheatbottom. 

7.. John Armstrong Blakelock, Brancepeth. 

7 . . Stephen John Futers, Screenman, Brancepeth. 

Jan. 2.. Thomas Morton, Miner, Waterhouses. 

2 . . James Fell, Miner, Waterhouses. 
2. .William Hetherington, Coke Drawer, Water- 
4. .William Close, Miner, White Lea. 
16. .Jonathan Bitson, Miner, Waterhouses. 
25. .Robert Atkinson, Labourer, Crook. 
Feb. 2 . . Thomas Pearson, Joiner, Crook. 

13. .Henry Bowes, Coke Inspector, Waterhouses. 

14. .Thomas Bestford, Miner, Waterhouses. 
14. .William Pinkney, Blacksmith, Waterhouses. 

March 27.. Michael Bubrell, Miner, Waterhouses. 

„ 27. .Thomas Bowman, Miner, Waterhouses. 

May 31. .William Willoughby, Coke Drawer, Crook. 

88 Our Society's History. 

June 1 . . James Horn, Tailor, Crook. 

„ 15. .William Milbubn, Joiner, Graliamsley. 

„ 16. .William Askew, Miner, Fir Tree. 

Aug. 23. .John Siddle, Labourer, Crook. 

,, 24. .George Batby, Coke Burner, Crook. 

„ 1 . . George Willoughby, Crook. 

All are names of well-remembered persons, and almost 
every one of them, if not all, has passed away. Numer- 
ous descendants are, however, living, and the great 
majority have allied themselves to the movement which 
their fathers created. Much might be written of the 
characteristics of those we have named, but space forbids. 

Chapter III. 

[he decision to commence a Store was promptly 
attended to, and an immediate offer was made to 
the Rev. W. Sandford, first Rector of Crook, of 
£18 per annum for a house and shop in Bridge Street, 
tenanted by Mr. John Gowland at that time, but now 
the premises of Mr. Whitfield, yeast merchant. This 
effort failed, and after consideration of other likely 
premises, an agreement was finally drawn up with Mr. 
Joseph Botham, to rent a house and shop belonging to 
him. The premises are now occupied by Mr. Robert 
Siddle, general dealer, Wheatbottom, and are very little 
changed from their appearance fifty years ago, when 
they were the Stores. 

The agreement with Mr. Botham read as follows : — 
" Between the Crook Co-operative Society on the 
one part, and Joseph Botham on the other part, 
the said Society agree to take, and the said Joseph 
Botham agrees to let, certain premises situate in 
the township of Hemlington Row, that is to say, 
a Dwelling-house and Shop situated in Wheatbottom, 
and containing shop and kitchen and two bedrooms, 
for the annual sum. of £16 per year, the rent to be 
paid at the end of every three months, biit the 
Society to have six months' notice to quit the 
premises ; and should the company put up anj' erec- 
tion for their use, the said Joseph Botham agrees 
that he takes the same at valuation or allow it to be 
taken down, and that the said Joseph Botham paint 
all the premises within six months." 

Mr. Botham was landlord of the " Sun Inn," where, 
in the first years of the Society's career, the General 
Meetings were held in the long room. His terms with 

90 Our Society's History. 

the Society for his premises were favourable to the latter 
and were typical of the man, for he is said to have been 
a man of admirable character and responsible for many 
kindly actions. He was also a man of " big importance," 
because — he once made the journey by train to London 
and back, which was regarded as a great performance 
in those early days. 

The premises obtained, it was next decided — 

" That a man be advertized for, married man 
preferred "; 
and Mr. T. Pedelty and Mr. W. Willoughby were 
appointed as a 

" Sub-committee to carry out the Shop Question." 

The " man " was to manage the shop, and out of three 
applicants selected by the General Committee, Mr. 
Pedelty, Mr. Wilson, and Mr. Siddle were elected to 
make a final choice, and this fell on one Henry Hayton, 
Durham. On August 16th the appointment of Mr. 
Henry Hayton as manager was confirmed by the com- 
mittee, and his bond accepted. The secretary and 
manager were empowered to procure suitable books for 
the Store's business, and Mr. Pedelty and Mr. Jackson 
were to audit the books on Monday, 21st. Mr. 
Pedelty, also, on August 16th, was appointed treasurer, 
a position he held for forty-one years, until his retire- 
ment in 1906. In addition, Mr. Pedelty was chosen to 
accompany Mr. Hayton when the latter went to buy 
in the Newcastle markets. 

It was decided to place Mr. WiUiam WiUoughby's 
name up at the shop, a proceeding rendered necessary 
to fulfil the requirements before a shop's license to sell 
was in order. 

The question of what salary be paid the manager was 
evidently a matter of secondary importance, for the 
matter came up for consideration on August 23rd, when 
it was — 

" Moved, seconded, and carried that the manager 
be paid 24 shillings every Saturday night." 

Our Sociefii's Fll.\tori/. 


ilr. W. Willougliby ^^-as instructed to bu}' three oil 
lamps for the shoji, and the secretary ^\'as paid his salary 
and re-elected. 

Thus was everything got ready for the opening of the 
slio]i on August 26th. No great orations marked this 
event ; no flourishing of trumpets ; no procession round 
the town ; no tea party nor piiblic meeting. In a word, 
the shop was " opened." and business commenced. 




. I 


^ -.^ .._,....,. ............. 


f,: — 

1!' ' 


■ i^; / 


^H^^^^H^^^> -^« .....?-__a. 





The secretary had procured his " books," which num- 
bered " one," and cost Is. 6d. The payment for this 
book, on August 23rd, is the first item recorded in it ; the 
second was £2 10s. Od., secretary's salary ; and the third 
was 5s. Od. to John Fox, the bellman. 

92 Our Society's History. 

August 26th was a Saturday, and at the end of this 
first day, the manager handed £8 to the treasurer. By 
Saturday night, September 2nd, he had taken other 
£24 10s. Od., and in the next four weeks, ending Septem- 
ber 9th. September 16th, September 23rd, and September 
30th, the sales were £25 Os. Od., £34 Os. Od., £35 10s. Od., 
and £48 Os. Od. respectively. 

The membership increased weekly, and we here give 
a second list of those who joined in the latter part of 
1865 and the early portion of 1866 : — 

Aug. 30 . . Nicholas Hope, Stonemason, Crook. 

„ 30. .John Robinson, Labourer, Crook. 

Sept. 16.. George Newoombe, Blacksmith, Wheatbottom. 

16. .Thomas Swan, Coke Laboui'er, High Hope Street. 
16. .Francis Birkett, Miner, Newton Cap Cottages. 
16. .James Brady, Coke Drawer, Hope Street. 

16. .John Gill, Token Keeper, Thistleflat. 
30. .William Bland, Coke Burner, High Hope Street. 

Oct. 1 . . John Morrow, Miner, Brinkburn. 

4. .Chkistophek Best, Labourer, Crook. 
12. .William Morson, Labourer, Commercial Street. 

17. .William Hutchinson, Miner, Waterhouses. 

17. .William Routh, Shoemaker, Commercial Street. 

18. .Alexander Tavlor, Miner, Waterhouses. 
18. .John Ashman, Miner, Waterhouses. 
18. .John Sowerby, Miner, Job's Hill. 
24 . . Ralph Stephenson, Miner, Waterhouses. 

Nov. 4 . . George Burdess, Miner, Waterhouses. 

4 . . Thomas Porter, Miner, Waterhouses. 

4 . . John Bell, Miner, Waterhouses. 

4 . . Peter McKeon, Labourer, Helmington Row. 
24. .Sarah Chismond, Confectioner, Hope Street. 
24. .Thomas Wilson, Gatekeeper, Helmington Row. 
24 . . Thomas Johnston, Farmer, Beechburn. 
24. .Christopher Woodhave, Mason, Billy Row. 
24. .Thomas Armstrong, Joiner, Roddymoor. 
24 . . Peter Knowles, Nailmaker, Wheatbottom. 
29. .James Nicholson, Labourer, High Hope Street. 

27. .Peter Kelly, Miner, Billy Row. 

28 . . Alexander Calvert, Miner, Moravian Street. 
11. .Joseph Tweddle, Miner, Beechburn. 
11.. John Hall, Miner, Beechburn. 
14. .Miles Now, Miner, Tow Law. 
17. .William Lauder, Miner, Beechburn. 
24, .Edward Dunn, Agent, Roddymoor Cottages. 
24 . . William Harper, Colse Drawer, Bowden Close. 

Our Society's History. 93 

Xcu-. l'o . . David Waiting, Coke Burner, High Hope Street, 

ill. .William Airey, Platelayer, Commercial Street. 
21 . .Robert Bulmer, Miner, Beechbrnii. 
Dec. 1 . . Joseph Briggs, Labourer, Beechburn. 

1 . . Robert Parkin, Platelayer, Freeholders' Homes. 

6. .John Quickmire, Coke Drawer, Helmington Row. 

7 . . John Purcell, Miner, Roddymoor Cottages. 
9. .John Bowden, Miner, Roddymoor Cottages. 
9. .John Tinning, Miner, Grahamsley. 
9. .Thomas Brown, Cabinet Maker, Hope Street. 

10. .George Close, Miner, White Lea Cottages. 

15. .Thomas Johnston, Miner, Wooley Terrace. 
16.. William Burnham, Miner, Wooley Terrace. 
16.. John Co well. Miner, Wooley Terrace. 

16. .William Wade, Miner, Mount Pleasant. 
16. .Peter Wade, Miner, Stanley Colliery. 

16. .CtJTHBERT Heron, Miner, Billy Row. 

18. .James Walton, Miner, Mount Pleasant. 

19. .William Westqarth, Brakesman, Roddymoor. 
23. .William Craggs, Husbandman, Billy Row-. 

23. .James Gledhill, Miner, Grahamsley. 
26. .James Taylor, Mirier, Kellet's Row. 
26. .James Turner, Miner, Mount Pleasant. 
30. .Adam Sitddiok, Miner, Bowden Close. 

24 . . Edward Hutchinson, Blacksmith, Bowden Close. 
30. .Robert Willoughby, Labourer, Crook. 

Feb. 3. .Edward Brougham, Coke Burner, Brougham's 

3. .Henry Pearson, Miner, Billy Row. [Cottages. 

5 . . Thomas Heslop, Joiner, Stanley Colliery. 
5. .Elizabeth Webster, Confectioner, Bridge Street. 
3 . . John Dewell, Banksman, High Hope Street. 
10. .Alexander Mack, Blacksmith, Arthur Street. 
10. .Davison Robson, Miner, Willington. 
10.. Mary Greener, Widow, Waterhouses. 

14. .John Finley, Farmer, Fir Tree. 

15. .John Doyle, Miner, Rumby Hill. 

17. .Thomas Carroll, Labourer, Carroll's Square. 
17. .William Henderson, Mason, High Hope Street. 
24 . . Edward Barron, Miner, Salmon Hall. 
24 . . Joseph PattisoN, Miner, Mount Pleasant. 
24 . . Robert Smith, Miner, White Lea Square. 
24. .Robert Smiles, Horsekeeper, Waterhouses. 
28. .Thomas Hildreth, Publican, Roddymoor. 
24 . . George Johnson, Miner, Fir Tree. 
24 . . Thomas Nattkass, Miner, Billy Row. 
24. .Robert Blakelock, Brakesman, 'Victoria Street. 
24. .John Pickering, Miner, "Victoria Street. 

8. .William Murphy, Blacksmith, Crook. 

94 Onr Societij's History. 

Feb. 10..JANK HuoHiESON, Widow, Beechburn. 

,, 27 . . John Snowdon, Miner, Fir Tree. 

,, 28.'. Thomas Bland, Labourer, South View. 

March 3. .Matthew Stevens, Miner, Grahamsley. 
,, 10. .Jonathan Stevens, Miner, Grahamsley. 

,, 10. ..John Hall, Coke Drawer, Tow Law. 

„ 10 . . Richard Day, Miner, Wheatbottom. 

,, 10.. Jane Heslop, Widow, Beechburn. 

,, 16..Chables Habbxjrn, Labourer. Hope Street. 

,, 18. .William Buknip, Inspector, Wheatbottom. 

,, 19. .Christopher Vickees, Miner, Oakenshaw. 

,, 19. .John Coates, Brakesman, Hope Street. 

„ 19. .Benjamin Coates, Blacksmith, Hope Street. 

,, 19. .John Hall, Coke Drawer, Bank Foot. 

„ 19. .Patrick Steel, Coke Drawer, Thistleflat. 

,, 24. .John Baines, Waggonman, Job's Hill. 

,, 24. .Caleb Kidd, Coke Drawer. Waterhouses. 

,, 24. .William Sharp, Coke Drawer, Stanley. 

,, 24. .Henry Bird, Miner, Woodifield. 

,, 17. .John Robinson, Platelayer, Helmington Row. 

„ 17.. Henry Burrows, Labourer, Bridge Street. 

,, 17. .Charles Moses, Labourer, Kellet's Row. 

,, 17. .Ann Moses, Widow, Woodifield Cottages. 

,, 31. .Richard Oliver, Labourer, Crook. 

April 4. .George Robson, Blacksmith, Beechburn. 

„ 10.. Joseph Galley, Miner, Beechburn. 

,, 9.. Humphrey Eerington, Miner, Waterhouses. 

,, 16. .Peter Brady, Coke Drawer, Thistleflat. 

,, 16. .William Wilson, Farmer, Bowden Close. 

,, 16. .John Green, Quarryman, Crook. 

17. .Thomas Johnston, Miner, Sunniside Cottages. 

17.. Joseph MacNay, Miner, Waterhouses. 
,, 24 . . James Quickmire, Coke Drawer, Helmington Row. 

24. .John Dodd, Miner, Mount Pleasant. 
,, 24. .John Taylor, Horseman, Sunnybrow. 

,, 24.. Richard Saville, Mason, Hope Street. 

24. .Luke Richardson, Miner, Beechburn. 
„ 24 . . Thomas Shaw, Miner, Bowden Close. 

May 10. .Robert Robson, Miner, Wooley. 

20 . . Thomas Grainger, Coke Drawer, Roddymoor. 

19. .Thomas Surtees, Miner, Mount Pleasant. 
„ 19. .John Briggs, Miner, Waterhouses. 

19. .James Fielding, Miner, Elm Park Terrace. 
June 16. .William Morton, Miner, Bowden Close. 
„ 18. .William Taylor, Miner, Grahamsley. 

,, 19. .John Jackson, Farmer, Waterhouses. 

„ 23. .William Collingwood, Miner, Mount Pleasant. 

30. .William Fleming, Miner, Mount Pleasant. 
,, 30. .James Smith, Miner, Stanley. 

Chapter IV. 

V^HE committee meetings were now held in the shoji, 
^^ and at the first one, on August 29th, the progress 
made was evidently satisfactory, for it was agreed 
to engage another man for the shop — 

" For the purpose of soliciting orders, delivering 
goods, assisting in shop, etc., etc." 

Already a lad had been a helper at the opening effort, 
in one who is to this day a valued employee of the Store, 
viz., Mr. John James Pedelty. He was then only eleven 
years of age, and his engagement with the Society was 
fixed on September 6th, when it was decided that — 

" Mr. Pedelty's boy be paid at the rate of 5 
shillings per week." 

The choice of the committee fell on Mr. John Parkinson 
to fill the new position created in the shop. He hailed 
from Shildon, and afterwards became the first manager 
of the branch store at Waterhouses. 

In September the first horse for the Society's use was 
purchased. It cost £8, and its chief characteristic was 
" tiredness," even down a bank with only an empty cart 
attached. A " full-sized horse sheet " was also bought, 
so that whatever other drawbacks our first steed 
possessed, it was nevertheless admitted to be a full-sized 
animal. The committee soon got tired of this horse, 
and it was decided to sell it for £3 15s. Od., or " Horse 
and Back Collar for £4 Os. Od." Another horse 
was purchased at a sale for £16 15s. Od., and this 
bargain got the committee into hot water at the first 
general meeting of members, when they were severely 
criticised " for paying such an abnormal price." 

John jAJitJS Pkdei.ty, 

Central Drapery IMa)iat,'er. 

50 Years' Service. 

?!' \ 



98 Our Society's History. 

Other items of expense at the opening period included 
Is. 4d. for six scoops : 9d. for three bowls ; and 15s. 6d. 
for knives and a saw. Flour bags were bought from 
George Belt and Son, Newcastle-on^Tyne, a firm with 
whom the Society still trades. The first supplies of 
flour came from Mr. Walter Davison, and also from 
Mr. John Hull, Willington. Tea, sugar, rice, tapioca, 
and other goods were supplied by Mr. William Sykes and 
Mr. Silas Kent, Newcastle-on-Tyne. 

At the first committee meeting in the shop, those 
present were — 

Mr. RicHAED Wilkinson, Chairman. 

Mr. Wm. Harbison. 

Mr. T. Pbdblty. 

Mr. Jos. Jackson. 

Mr. John Robinson. 

Mr. Wm. Willoughby. 

Mr. T. Groves. 

Mr. Isaac Wilson. 

Mr. John Siddlb, Secretary. 

At this meeting, Mr. John Hall was elected to the com- 
mittee in the place of Mr. Joseph Ritson. The question 
of the repayment of share capital to members leaving 
the district was settled as follows : — 

" That the committee buy the share or shares of 
any Shareholder removing to a distance of 6^ miles 
from the Store, provided that they wish to sell their 
share or shares, on the following conditions : — 

"1. That the Shareholders give to the Secretary 
two weeks' notice in writing, the same to be laid 
before the Committee to decide thereon. 

"2. That the Committee buy the share or shares 
of only one Shareholder every two weeks ; if more 
than one Shareholder apply, the first to be con- 
sidered will be the first applicant. 

" 3. That the Committee pay the full value of the 
share or shares." 

Our Society's History. 99 

The inadequacy of the premises to meet the growing 
trade was soon apparent, and it was also felt that a more 
central situation should be secured. The committee 
decided — 

" That Mr. Hayton call on Mr. Proud to enquire 
after Mr. ElUott's shop." 

This latter place was in the Market Place, where Miss 
Lowther's shop now stands. The premises were not 
secured, and, a fortnight later, on October 25th, other 
negotiations had taken place, and it was agreed — 

" That Mrs. Armstrong's shop be taken by this 
company at the yearly rent of £30, and a lease of 
5 years to be got on the premises, if possible ; if the 
lease cannot be got, the committee to be guided by 
circumstances. The committee also had to decide 
about the fixtures." 

No trouble occurred in the negotiation for this shop, 
and the Society moved its store from Wheatbottom to its 
new home in Hope Street — where Mr. J. W. Parkin's 
shop now stands, and business commenced on November 

The new premises were a great improvement. The 
situation was very central, but later the demand for still 
larger premises resulted in other sites being looked after, 
until the present spot in North Terrace was obtained. 

The Hope Street shop was fairly commodious. A use- 
ful warehouse was in the rear, and there was also a stable 
in the yard. The room above the warehouse was used 
as a stock-room. Here also the committee held their 
meetings. The mode of access was by ladder, and a 
notice was hung up which read — 

" This ladder, when not in use, to be drawn up 
and fastened to the ceiling." 

For the use of the committee, six chairs and two forms 
were provided. 


Our Societi/'s History. 

The move from Wheatbottom to Hope Street ^\-as not 
altogether a unanimous one, and at the first meeting in 
the Hope Street shop, Mr. Isaac Wilson resigned his 
position on the committee. The vacancy was allotted 
to Mr. Thomas Pearson, a joiner, who continued for 


many years to have a connection with the Society. Some 
of his family are still resident in the town, and one son, 
his namesake, Thomas, was for many years employed in 
the stores. 

The stock of goods was fairly large for an effort only 
three months old. It was insured for £300, Mr. Cowan 
being the insurance agent. 

Mr. Thomas Swan and Mr. Joseph Jopling were 
appointed auditors, and the first balance sheet was 
issued on December 30th. It covered a period of 
eighteen weeks, antl the sales were £1,155 10s. Od. in 
cash and £11 5s. Id. outstanding, giving an average of 
i'64 16s. 5d. a week. The capital was £121 Os. Od., on 
which interest of £3 17s. Od. was paid. The stock was 

Our Society's History. 


valued at £225 13s. IJd., and the cash in hand was 
£280 12s. Id. ; but against this there was owing to 
merchants for goods, £342 Os. IJd. A profit of £71 15s. 
5-|d. remained after all expenses had been met, and a 
dividend of Is. 9d. in the £ was declared on the purchases, 
£682 4s. 6d. It will be noted that dividend was not 
paid at this period on aU goods sold by the Society. 

We give a copy of the first balance sheet, which was 
\vritten by Mr. Swan, and read out to the general meeting 
of members. There were no printed copies of it. 


Our Society's History. 

Geook and Neighbourhood Co-opebativb Corn 

Ending December 






Cash for Groceries and Provisions 




Fixed Stock 




Officers' and Servants' Salaries . . 



Carriage of Goods . . 

Shop-paper, Stamps, Stationery, and Tracts 

Horse Provender . . 






Horse Hire . . 




Working Expenses . . 

Poor Bate, 2/6 ; Shop Rent; 80/- . . 

Railway Fares 

Printing, 17/4 ; Shop Oil and Incidentals 

Shop License 

Rent for the use of the Mechanics' Hall . 

21/1 ! 












Balance of Cash in hand . . 











Members' Claims on Paid-up Shares 


Interest on Capital . . 
Invoice Account 




Shop Rent Due 





Reserve Fund 



Balance of Profit 










Depreciation of Fixed Stock, viz., 2 J per ( 
£63 12s. 7d 

;ent. o 





Dividend on Members' Purchases, viz., £6 

82 4s. 


at 1/9 per pound 
Balance to carry forward . . 








Owr Society's History. 


for the first 18 weeks of the 

Mill, Flour and Provision Society Limited, 

30th, 1865. 



August 23rd. f 



By Cash on hand and in the Bank 




Cash for Groceries and Provisions 



Contributions of Members . . 




Entrance Fees and Cards . . 








Interest from the Bank 



Transfers due 


£1,311 18 li 

Groceries and Provisions in Stock 

Fixed Stock 

Cash to receive 
Balance in hand 

£ s. d. 

225 13 \i 

63 12 7 

11 5 1 

280 12 1 

£581 2 lOi 

By Balance of Profit 

£ s. d. 
71 15 5J 

£71 15 5^ 


Secretary: JOHN SIDDLE. 

Chapter V. 

jT^OWARDS the back end of 1865, and in the early 
^^ part of 1866, the committee were continually 
harassed with the question of the completion of 
the purchase of the land for the Mill, and their trouble 
in this respect may have been responsible for a gradual 
dishke of the mill project, coupled, of course, with the 
success which was attending the Store. 

The purchase money was fixed at £65, but we only have 
evidence of £60 4s. 6d. being paid, and this payment was 
made in March, 1866. Previous to this transaction, the 
committee had decided, on January 24th — 

" That, with the approval of the General Meeting, 
the land be sold to the highest bidder." 

The general meeting approved this recommendation, 
and it was decided to advertise the land in the Durham 
Chronicle, and also by hand-bills. Innumerable motions 
were passed touching on the question of the land and the 
deeds, deputation after deputation being appointed to 
interview Mr. Trotter on the matter. June 27th was 
reached before progress was recorded to enable a definite 
arrangement for the sale. The arrangements were : — 

" The land was to be sold in one lot or in lots to 
suit purchasers. 

" The reserve was fixed at £80, and Mr. Briggs 
was elected to put in this bid for the Society. 

" 30 days was to be allowed for the completion 
of the sale of the land if it was sold." 

Oiir Society's Histonj. 105 

Property sales then were accompanied by a liberal 
distribution of " free drinks," and Mr. T. Pedelty was 
appointed — 

" To get grog, and serve it out according to 

The land was eventually sold to Dr. Winship for £77, 
a price which would leave the Society somewhat on the 
losing side of the deal, for, in addition to the £60 4s. 6d. 
paid for the land, there was also paid £6 18s. Od. expenses 
for attending the sale ; £14 19s. Od. to Mr. Trotter for 
agreements, etc. ; and £10 10s. Od. to Mr. Joseph 
Hackworth for plan of MiU, etc. With the payment of 
these accounts the Mill effort was ended, and the atten- 
tion of the committee was wholly given to the develop- 
ment of the Store. 

Tracing our steps back again for a perusal of the Store's 
transactions, we find that at the New Year of 1866, Mr. 
Hayton and Mr. Parkinson each received an advance of 
2s. weekly. 

The buying question then, even as has happened in 
more recent years, was an item for considerable discus- 
sion, and on January 10th, it was decided — 

" That one member of the committee accompany 
the manager to Newcastle once a quarter in rotation 
as they stand in the book." 

This was rescinded on January 17th, when it was 
carried — 

" That Thos. Pedelty, Jos. Jackson, and Wm. 
Bland be the three appointed to accompany Mr. 
Hayton to Newcastle, one every month for three 
months ; to arrange among themselves as to which 
goes first." 

A currant-cleaning machine was bought, and the 
insurance of the stock increased to £500. The horse 
also was insured for £50. 

106 Our Society's History. 

Mr. William Airey was elected to the committee on 
January 17th, and Mr. Joseph Briggs was elected on 
January 24th. 

The first general meeting was held on February 6th, 
when it was decided — 

" That the profit of £69 13s. lid. should be left 
in the Society for the first six months ; the dividend 
due to each member to be placed in their books." 

Mr. J. Parkinson was paid two shillings for attending 
the door at the general meeting. 

Another assistant was engaged in Mr. Robert Baker, 
who came from Sunderland. His parents resided at 
Bradley Hall, and he remained with the Society for about 
three years, in the course of which he married Miss 
Westgarth, a daughter of Mr. Fred. Westgarth, Red 
House Farm, Roddynioor. 

Presumably some trouble had been caused through 
" drink " at some meeting, for on February 7th, it was 
carried — 

" That no intoxicated member be allowed to 
enter any Committee, General, or Special Meeting, 
and that the chairman be authorised to order any 
such member out." 

The auditors' salaries were fixed at £1 10s. Od. each 
per annum, and the treasurer was granted £2 as working 

A move was made to purchase the premises, but 
■eventually the matter was left in abeyance. A sugges- 
tion to take out a " wine hcense " was also discussed, 
and laid aside for twelve months. 

On April 11th, Mr. John Hall was appointed auditor, 
in place of Mr. Jopling, and the vacancy on the committee 
was filled by Mr. John Gill. 

The secretary was instructed to write to — 

" Gateshead, Rochdale, and Sunderland, for 
information respecting the salaries of the com- 

Our Society's History. 107 

There is no record of the answers received, which must 
have proved interesting reading. 

June 30th, 1866, saw the completion of the second 
half-year's working, and the figures on the balance sheet . 
show an increase in the sales of 100 per cent. The sales 
totalled £3,287 17s. 9d., an average of £126 9s. 2d. a 
week. A dividend of Is 6d. in the £ was declared on 
members' purchases of £2,355. 

The second general meeting was held in Mr. Botham's 
" Sun Inn." Mr. William Bland presided, and there 
were fifty-six members present. Certainly not a large 
number, but they made themselves heard, and at times 
created uproar enough for five hundred and sixty 
persons. Fault was found about one item ; then some- 
body discovered something else to grumble at ; and at 
last things became so " merry and bright," that coats 
were thrown off on to the floor, and a free fight ensued. 
Forms, sticks, and fists were freely used, and, generally 
speaking, those on the outside of the room were the only 
ones to escape some blows. The business was in the end 
got through. The committee were elected ; the secre- 
tary was re-appointed at a salary of £8, and the treasurer 
was also re-appointed and advanced £1. 

Perhaps the chief point on which trouble was created 
hinged on the question as to who should manage the 
Store. Mr. Hayton was manager, and he had his 
friends, whilst there were also present a fairly good num- 
ber who were anxious to promote Mr. John Parkinson 
to the position. A vote was demanded, when Mr. 
Hayton was successful in keeping his place by a majority 
of fourteen. The committee were given power to buy all 
goods or send to market whom they thought proper, and 
at their first meeting they again placed the buying in 
the hands of Mr. Hayton. 

At this meeting they also considered an application 
from aU the employees (!) for an advance of wages, and 
this was met by a grant of one shilling each per week to 
J. Parkinson and J. Pedelty. 

Chapter VI. 

I \URING the first few years the committee were 
A^ pretty regular helpers in the shop. Scarcely a 
day passed but Mr. Thomas Pedelty was engaged 
in some work, and the other members of committee were 
mostly present on Saturdays. Mr. John Coates was 
specially appointed to assist in writing up the ledger 
accounts, whilst Mr. Benj. Coates and Mr. Thomas 
Armstrong were two who, on alternate Saturdays, took 
charge of the selling of boots and shoes, until a cobbler, 
Mr. W. Elgie, was employed. 

1*866. — On August 31st, the shop was closed, for the 
Agricultural Show — at that time an important show in 
the county — was being held ; and the Society also made 
a grant of five shillings to the show funds. 

The next item of importance proved one of the most 
telling steps in the giant strides the Society was making ; 
This hung on the decision to introduce a clerk ; and, on 
October 8th, it was moved by Mr. Henry Bowes, and 
seconded by Mr. William Henderson : — 

" That WiUiam Burnip have the appointment of 
clerk, at a salary of twenty-six shillings per week." 

This appointment was really directly due to the 
trouble which had ensued at the General Meeting ; 
trouble which, moreover, had caused a want of confidence 
to permeate the members. The need was felt for some 
person to be found in whom trust could be satisfactorily 
placed. The Waterhouses representatives, Mr. Wm. 
Pinkney, Mr. Henry Bowes, and Mr. Thos. Armstrong, 
announced to their Crook friends that they had the man 
who could redeem the situation. " Who was he ?" 
they were asked. " William Burnip, the token keeper," 
was the reply ; and all agreed he was to be the solution 

j?.y- ,;| f William Burnip, 

■ u! 1 Past Secretary and Maiiagpr, 




1866 to 1906. 


110 Our Society's History. 

to the problem, provided, of course, he was wiUing to 
accept the position. Mr. Burnip was interviewed, and, 
after some hesitation, he accepted the situation, following 
advice from his master at the colliery, Mr. Thomas 
Douglas, who also assured him his place on the works 
would be kept open for him in case he was not satisfied 
with his new sphere of work. 

It might also be mentioned that the appointment was 
further enhanced by the unique move on the part of the 
committee to petition aU the members at Waterhouses 
to assist in the securing of Mr. Burnip for the Stores ; 
and this met with a ready response and unanimity. 

Thus was introduced one who, year in and year out, 
proved an incomparable guiding hand. We leave a more 
personal description and tribute to a later portion of our 

Practically coincident with the entry of Mr. Burnip 
was the severance of Mr. John Siddle's connection with 
the Society — at any rate as secretary — ^for, from October 
24th, the minutes of the meetings are all in the writing 
of Mr. Burnip. 

The duties which devolved on Mr. Siddle, as the first 
secretary, would, without doubt, be of an extremely 
arduous nature, and it must be admitted he had done 
much useful work. He did not continue long to have 
any great connection with the Society after vacating 
the secretarial office, though he occupied a seat on the 
committee for a time, and also was appointed, with 
others, to revise the rules. 

On Mr. Burnip's appointment, the bond of his father, 
Mr. Wm. Burnip, senior, was accepted ; Mr. John 
Coates and Mr. J. Siddle having to see that the same was 
drawn up in proper order. 

Mr. John Coates, Mr. Wm. Bland, and Mr. T. Pedelty 
were appointed to " put the clerk into his proper place 
and show him. his proper duties." Part of his work was 
to weigh every package of goods before it was opened. 

Our Societij's History. Ill 

and he also had to check every biU for goods sold, as it 
was made out by the shopman. On October 24th Mr. 
Burnip first sat as secretary, though there is no record of 
his appointment to that post. It is noticeable that the 
records of the meetings' proceedings are more numerous, 
and, even if it is of a very ordinary transaction, it may 
be of interest to give the first minute written by the new 
secretary, which was : — 

" 1st Resolution. — Moved by Wm. Burnip, senior, 
seconded by Thomas Pearson, that 3 cwt. of pale 
soap and 3 cwt. of mottled soap be ordered of Silas 

Part of the shop was fitted as an office by Mr. Thos. 
Brown, Hope Street, for the use of the clerk ; and one of 
Mr. Burnip's first duties was to carry out the instruction 
of the committee, calling a special general meeting of the 
members, on November 14th, to consider the suggested 
alteration of the rules. When the day arrived, less than 
one-third of the members attended, and, as a result, 
the meeting was adjourned to November 20th, when the 
required changes were agreed to, and it was decided that 
the following should sign the application to the Regis- 

Sergt. Greathbad. 
P.O. John Bell. 
Heney Nicholson. 
Adam Suddick. 
Wm. Taylor. 
John Siddlb. 
Wm. Bland. 

An effort was also made towards spreading more 
enlightenment on the value of co-operation among the 
working-class population in the district, and five hundred 
tracts and three hundred copies of the Co-operator were 
distributed. The latter was a journal which chronicled 
the doings of co-operative societies, more especially 
touching on those in Yorkshire and Lancashire. It was 
the entire production of working-men, and was started 

112 Our Society's History. 

in 1860 as a penny monthly, but was afterwards issued 
weekly. It was finally absorbed by the present Co-opera- 
tive News, which has a useful circulation in co-operative 

On December 26th Mr. Benjamin Coates was elected 
to the committee in the place of Mr. Wm. Henderson. 
Another appointment to the committee, in Mr. Thomas 
Proudfoot, was made on January 16th, 1867. 

1867. — At the general meeting on February 5th it was 
decided to purchase a safe to contain the documents of 
the Society, which hitherto had been in the care of Mr. 
Wm. Bland. Mr. John Buston, Mr. T. Swan, Mr. A. 
Suddick, and Mr. T. Armstrong were appointed by the 
members to make a " thorough examination of all the 
books in the Societj^'s business. 

Running towards the summer months of 1867, an 
undercurrent of dissatisfaction was very prevalent among 
the committee, and the attendance at the meetings went 
form bad to worse ; in fact, on May 15th, 22nd, and 29th, 
and June 4th, no business was done, " on account of not 
having a quorum." 

The committee exercised the power which they held 
to deal with such a state of affairs, and on June 19th 
Mr. John Dewell, Mr. John Thistlewaite, and Mr. 
Thomas Nattrass were added to the committee. 

It had been fixed that the Annual General Meeting of 
the Society should be held in every August, and at such 
meetings the officers for the year were to be elected. 
At the meeting on August 6th, among other appoint- 
ments was that of Mr. Wm. Burnip, who was a unanimous 
selection for the secretarial office. 

The balance sheet showed the sales to have increased 
from £4,185 3s. Od. to £4,710 6s. l^d., and a dividend of 
Is. 5d. in the £ was declared on purchases of £3,773. No 
dividend was paid on sugar, which was sold at 4^d. per 
pound. Flour was then selling at 2s. 6d. per stone, but 
the^ manager had definite instructions that the price of 

Our Society's History. 113 

this necessary foodstuff must never exceed that charged 
at " other shops in the neighbourhood." 

On August 21st it was decided that " John James 
Pedelty be bound as an apprentice," and Mr. Bland, 
Mr. T. Pedelty, and Mr. Hayton had to visit Mr. Jonathan 
Hutchinson to have the indentures j)roperly fiUed iip. 
The latter gentleman was the village school-master, and 
lived at the public-house known as the " Wheatbottom 
Inn." He was recognised as the village solicitor, and 
his advice was often sought. 

For the period 1868 to 1870 there is an absence of any 
written record. This is perhaps unfortunate, as they 
were years full of momentous happenings. 

It was during this time that the Society lost the ser- 
vices of their manager, Mr. Hayton. His health was 
not of the best, and he finally developed an illness 
which took him away from earthly toils and pleasures 
in 1868. 

During his illness the board of management allowed 
him a sum of 10s. weekly. He is said to have been a man 
of more than average ability, and was helpful in assisting 
the Society over many of the troublesome items which 
again and again cropped up. 

His absence from work was perhaps mainly responsible 
for bringing out the versatile ability of Mr. Burnip. 
The committee placed every confidence in him, and 
entrusted the most onerous diities to him ; and at Mr. 
Hayton's death he was appointed to hold the dual office 
of manager and secretary. 

Other assistants were engaged during these years, 
amongst whom were Mr. George Cloustone, Mr. Thomas 
Simpson, and Mr. Robert Clement. The former were 
^ocery hands, whilst Mr. Clement was cartman and 

The gradual success the Society was meeting with was 
evidently not to the liking of the local tradesmen. They 
began to look somewhat askance at a movement which 


114 Our Society's History. 

already promised well, and must inevitably find its way 
to the hearts of more of the working classes. 

The reason for the meetings taking place at the " Sun " 
Inn, together with a general survey of the Society's 
affairs, may be gleaned from the following report, sent 
by Mr. Wm. Burnip to the Co-operator," 16th September, 
1867 :— 

" Ceook. — The members held their fourth half-yearly 
meeting on Tuesday evening, August 6th, in the " Sun " 
Inn. With regard to your suggestion about us holding the 
general meetings in a public-house, I may say that many 
of the members are bitterly opposed to holding the 
meeting there ; but, owing to the opposition the Store 
meets with in Crook, from the tradesmen and others, they 
could not get another place. The Messrs. Pease built a 
British School in Crook, and I wrote to the committee 
to see if we could hold our meetings there, but I am 
sorry to say, we did not succeed. I am happy to say 
that the next meeting will probably be held in the Wes- 
leyan School-room, Crook. Mr. Wm. Bland having been 
duly elected to the chair, his first business was to call 
upon the auditors to read the report, who were able to 
congratulate the Society on its present position, it having 
progressed so favourably during the past half-year. The 
balance sheet was then read, from which it appears that 
the receipts during the half-year from all sources were 
£5,067 2s. 4|d., and, after paying or providing for the 
expense of management, etc., there was a balance 
remaining of £283 16s. lid., being the net profit for the 
half-year ; and after allowing £5 for depreciation of 
fixed stock, £11 10s. lOd. to go to the reserve fund, left 
a balance of £267 5s. Id. to be divided among the mem- 
bers, allowing a dividend of Is. 5d. in the £ on all 
purchases excepting sugar. The balance sheet having 
been adopted, the remainder of the business was the 
election of officers for the ensuing year ; and, after 
discussing some very important points in connection 
with the Store, the members separated, highly delighted 

Our Society's History. 115 

with the proceedings of the evening, and each determined 
to help forward the co-operative movement in Crook. — 
Wm. Buenip, secretary." 

In the first half of the year 1868, draperies were sold 
for the first time. The sales of groceries, provisions, 
and draperies totalled £4,846 12s. l|d., and a dividend 
of Is. 6d. in the £ was paid. The sales for the next half- 
year reached £5,008 8s. 5Jd., and the dividend was again 
Is. 6d. In this session there was also introduced, for the 
first time, a Tea Party among the members. These 
old-time events will come back to our older members 
as red-letter epochs. They were generally the outstand- 
ing item of each particular year, and a failure to be 
present was always a matter of regret. The receipts 
at the first party totalled £13 8s. 7d., so that a fairly 
big gathering must have assembled. 

The balance sheets continued to consist of a very 
simple statement of accounts. They occupied one side 
of the paper only, and were printed at " Hardy's Machine 
and General Printing Works, Wilson Street (opposite 
the Railway Station)." 

In the June and December halt-years for 1869, a 
dividend of Is. 9d. was declared for each period. A Tea 
Party was again held, and £15 12s. ll|d. was taken at 
the door. 

In June, 1870, the dividend dropped to Is. 6d., but 
the following half-year saw a big jump to Is. lOd. But 
the half-year ending December, 1870, was altogether a 
big period. The old cry of "Come over and help us!" 
was heard. It was the voice of the Waterhouses people 
clamouring for a shop nearer their own door-steps. 
From the commencement of the movement in Crook 
there had always been a connection with the workers 
living on the banks overlooking the Deerness. It was 
a link forged, in all probability, by the intercourse of 
employees engaged at Pease and Partners' several works 
and collieries at each side of the hill. The idea also 

116 Our Society's History. 

received considerable impetus from an appeal made by 
the Durham Society to take over the Waterhouses 

Customers at Waterhouses were reached by cart. 
Between the deliveries, the great distance to Crook was 
a drawback to many other purchases being made ; 
although many did regularly make the journey. Water- 
houses already had representatives on the committee, 
among whom were Mr. Henry Bowes, Mr. Thomas 
Armstrong, Mr. John Ashman, and Mr. Wm. Pinkney. 
The former was a sufficiently strong and powerful 
personality to overcome any objections, if any were 
raised, to the launching out into a new stream of co-opera- 
tion travel. It was a venture into then almost unknown 
ground, which might have appalled others of a later 
stage, but our pioneers were far-seeing men who gazed 
not at imaginary obstacles. They looked ahead and 
went straight ahead ; and, though finances were not too 
strong, yet an establishment was arranged for and 
business opened out at Waterhouses, as at Crook, in a 
very humble way, in the latter part of 1870. A shop in 
Hamilton Row was obtained from Mr. Philip Bonner. 
It stood opposite the present Workmen's Club, and is 
now a private residence. 

Mr. John Parkinson, who had become a popular 
employee with both management and customers, was 
the first manager appointed to this, the Society's first 
branch, and he resided with his wife in the house con- 
nected with the shop. 

The branch may be said to have struck a better patch 
for a start than its parent had done in its first days. 
There was plenty of business doing right from the opening 
day, and by the end of the half-year the sales totalled 
£1,981 16s. 4d., an average of £76 4s. 6d. per week. 

Commencing this branch reduced the work at the 
Central shop, and Mr. George Cloustone, Mr. Thomas 
Simpson, and Mr. John J. Pedelty had to go over to 
Waterhouses to assist Mr. Parkinson. They went in 

118 Our Society's History. 

turns, one week at a time, and each man, when at Water- 
houses, was given 2s. 6d. extra to his usual weekly wage. 
And there was also another assistant employed, at a 
salary of 2s. 6d. per week. This was Mrs. Parkinson, 
who had to assist her husband when necessary. This 
system of help from the Crook side was in vogue for 
some twelve months, and then George Parkinson, 
nephew of the manager, was appointed apprentice. 

His indentures were signed on January 1st, 1872, 
and his wages were fixed at 10s., 12s., 143., and 16s. for 
each of his first four years respectively. The apprentice 
of then is to-day the respected manager of the Water- 
houses Stores. 

The following particulars appeared in the Co-operator 
on August 27th, 1870. They present an interesting 
view of the Society's affairs as they stood at this period. 
From our reading of it we can imagine it to be a record 
of a gathering, full of confidence in the future of the 
Society's work — confidence that the succeeding years 
soon justified : — 


" ' Pitmen take kindly to co-operation,' remarked a 
facetious friend, when speaking of the rapid growth of 
the movement in the County of Durham. A flying visit 
to Crook confirms the statement. Five years ago 
Co-operation there was in embryo ; now it is enjoying 
a vigorou.s and healthy existence, approaching maturity, 
and is the parent of one promising branch store. The 
Annual Festival was held on Saturday, August 13th, 
in the Mechanics' Hall — a large building — which was 
more than once filled at the tea tables. Afterwards a 
free meeting took place, vinder the presidency of Mr. 
John Howie, of Bishop Auckland, a firm friend of tem- 
perance, co-operation, and kindred movements. A letter 
was read from Mr. John Kellett (an employer), who had 
been invited to pre.side, but was not well enough. Mr. 
Kellett wrote : — ' Your institution has my best wishes 

Our Society's History. 119 

for its success. " Union is strength." I hope you will 
go on and prosper.' The chairman spoke briefly of the 
benefits of co-operation, commended the Co-operator, 
.and then called upon its editor, who gave two short 
addresses on the objects and advantages of association 
for distributive and productive purposes. There was a 
hearty response to his protest against adulteration of our 
children's blood by Act of Parliament, and the waste of 
money and health in the use of intoxicating drink and 
tobacco. Temperance melodies enlivened the meeting, 
so that the proceedings were very enjoyable. Mr. 
Burnip (the secretary) spoke of co-operation as a lever 
that would raise the working class from poverty to inde- 
pendence. So far we had only learned the A B C of the 
system ; but with sobrietjr, industry, and integrity, we 
should be soon able to enter upon Productive Co-opera- 
tion. The balance sheet for the half-year, read by one 
of the auditors, showed the capital to be £1,097 ; sales, 
£7,139 ; profit, £463 ; dividend. Is. 6d. The business 
has increased very rapidly during the last three years. 
There is a reserve fund ; and the stock has been amply 
depreciated. Credit is allowed to members, it being 
almost a necessity, in consequence of the long intervals 
between the payment of wages. We suggested the desir- 
ability of giving dividend to non-members, and forming 
an educational fund. Our visit, though brief, was made 
pleasant by the kindness of many friends." 

Over six hundred members were present at this 
festival, and the editor referred to in the report was Mr. 
Henry Pitman, a brother of Sir Isaac Pitman, the famous 
inventor of " Pitman's Shorthand." 

1871. — One of the members elected to the committee 
in 1870 was Mr. W. Lobley. In the following January 
he left the board to commence in the shop at 16s. per 
week. He continued at the Store for a good number of 
years as traveller, and afterwards emigrated to Australia. 
Mr. Michael Reed was appointed to the committee in the 
place of Mr. Lobley. 

120 Our Society's History 

Mr. Wm. Bland presided over the February General 
Meeting, when it was carried that every member had to 
leave 5s. of their dividend in the society. The committee 
were " thanked " for their services. 

On February 8th the committee decided to grant the 
general manager, Mr. W. Burnip, free gas, water, and 

Over the hill the increasing trade demanded larger 
premises as soon as possible, and, in March, Mr. Henry 
Bowes was empowered to look after securing a suitable 
place for the proposed new store, which it had been 
decided had to be erected at Waterhouses. To meet the 
cost, the secretary was instructed to interview Messrs. 
Backhouse and Co.'s manager, to ascertain if the money 
could be borrowed at 5 per cent. The Society, however, 
had in the end sufficient current cash of its own to 
finance the venture. 

Land was secured from Viscount Boyne. This was a 
site in Russell Street, of four hundred and forty square 
yards, and a lease of ninety-nine years, at a ground rent 
of £3 13s. 4d., was drawn up in 1872. The signatures to 
the lease on behalf of the Society were : — Joseph Briggs, 
Page Bank, Inspector ; William Bland, Thomas Swan, 
and John Hutchinson, coke inspectors, all of Crook ; 
John Coates, brakesman, Thomas Pearson, joiner, and 
Thomas Groves, labourer, all of Crook ; Henry Bowes, 
inspector, and Michael Burrell, miner, both of Water- 
houses ; William Heslop, blacksmith, Alexander French, 
inspector, and William Taylor, miner, all of Grahamsley. 

To Mr. Alexander French was given the work of pre- 
paring the specifications and plans ; and shortly after- 
wards, the tender of Mr. John Hare and Mr. Richard 
Bousfield was accepted to erect the premises at a cost of 
£435, and an additional £34 for extra inside work. Mr. 
George Lax, Crook, was given the painting work to carry 
out. The building was not erected very quickly, and 
May, 1872, was reached before it was possible to have 
the opening ceremony performed. This event took place 

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122 Otir Society's Ilistonj. 

on May 4th, which, naturally enough, was a great day 
among our Waterhouses friends. 

We have not been able to find any records of the 
proceedings of this important occasion, but we under- 
stand that Mr. John Howie, a well-known temperance 
missionary at Bishop Auckland, was the gentleman who 
declared the premises open. We do know definitely that 
the tea was a tremendous success. 

On April 26th the question of giving an occasional 
holiday to the employees was considered, and it was 
determined : — 

" That the servants of the Store have a half -day 
holiday every fortnight on Wednesday." 

In April, also, the Society made a grant of £1, to be 
sent to the secretary of the Chester-le-Street Store : — 
" For the treasurer of the Wholesale Store in the 
North of England." 

In June it was carried : — 

" Ten shillings be given to the Co-operator Fund, 
and that we allow our name to be on the committee." 

At the August General Meeting the salaries of the 
auditors were raised to £2 10s. Od. each per annum. 
The Tea Party was again arranged, and a " Mixed 
Entertainment " was added. 

For the first time a 2s. dividend was declared, and the 
sales had reached the five-figure mark, £11,302 Os. Od. 

Another branch of trading was introduced on August 
9th, in the shape of ready-made boots and shoes, and 
extra shelving was put into the shop to admit of the new 

In November the Society gave its first order for goods — 
three tierces of crystal sugar at 40s. 3d. — to the Man- 
chester Co-operative Wholesale Society. Two months 
later we note the first mention of the Newcastle Co-opera- 
tive Wholesale Society, where an order was sent for three 
bags of rice. Other orders subsequently were given pretty 
frequently, although the Society did not become actual 
members until many years later, in 1886. 

Chapter VII. 


V/l I E have all probably many memories of the large 
^JtJl* -wall almanacks which were given away yearly, 
one to each customer, by co-operative stores 
and private tradesmen alike, and our own first gift in 
this line was in January, when seven hundred almanacs, 
costing £7 7s. Od., were given away. 

Our neighbouring Society, at Willington, at this time 
had been established, and some of our members resident 
in that district were desirous of joining in the new move- 
ment. Their request to be allowed to withdraw from 
our Society met with a fair consideration, and, on 
January 10th, it was decided : — 

" That the Willington members have their money 
out of the Store on application." 

At the February General Meeting it was decided to 
again have the Rules altered, and Mr. Thomas Armstrong, 
Mr. James Smith, Mr. Wm. Robinson, Mr. James Horn, 
Mr. Wm. Todd, and Mr. John Moore were elected from 
amongst the members present to assist the committee 
in the work of revision. The alterations suggested were 
placed before a special meeting on March 25th. One 
change proposed was to have in the Society's registered 
name, " General Dealers and Manufacturers," in place of 
" Grocery, Provision, and Millers." This idea was not 
acceptable, and was rejected by the meeting.- 

Mr. Robert Longstaff. left the district in March, and 
his place on the committee was allotted to Mr. William 

There was no very definite time fixed for the opening 
and closing of the shop, yet for the first few years it was 

124 Our Society's History. 

usual to carry on business from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., except- 
ing on Saturdays, when the hours were 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. 
There was, further, no haK-day holiday. The latter 
was remedied, as has been mentioned, in April, 1871, 
and the larger question of the general opening and 
closing hours was considered in February, 1872, when it 
was decided to open at 8 a.m., and to close every night, 
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 7 p.m., 
and on Saturdays at 9 p.m. The shop also had to close 
every day for dinner from 12 to 1 p.m. Further, on 
Saturdays, all the employees had to have their teas in 
the Stores, at their own expense. With regard to the 
cartmen, any hours they worked in excess of fifty-four 
hours per week had to be paid for as overtime. 

1872. — Dividends were usually paid at this time on 
two Saturdays, from 4 to 6 p.m., but in February, 1872, 
it was fixed at 4 to 7, and arrangements were also made 
to pay dividend at Waterhouses for the first time. 
Tuesday was fixed for the visit to Waterhouses, and this 
method continues to this day. Mr. John Whitfield, 
who is still with the Society as flour warehouseman at 
Waterhouses, was engaged on April 4th, as warehouse- 
man, at 24s. per week. 

Mr. Joseph Briggs, who had been a useful member of 
the committee, left the district in April. 

Cheapness or quality in boots was an item raised in 
committee, and it was settled : — 

" To have no more low-priced boots." 

On June 19th we find another very important appoint- 
ment was made, when Mr. Thomas Burnip, a younger 
brother of Mr. William Burnip, was engaged for the 
office, at a salary of 20s. per week for a three months' 
trial. The engagement was continued, and he is still 
happily working with us, now in the highest position in 
the clerical department as secretary ; and who can say 
what has been his worth to the Society ? 

Mr. John Coates, who had been equally valuable both 
as an auditor and as a member of the committee, left the 


Thomas Bttrntp, 

Piebent Secietaiy. 

43 \eais' Seivif e. 

126 Our Society's History. 

district for Australia, where he still resides, being now 
eighty-four years of age. He is a brother of Mr. 
Benjamin Coates, who still takes every interest in the 
Society's welfare, and is a resident at Langley Moor. 

In this year the Society followed up their purchases 
from the Wholesale Society by forwarding £1 towards 
the Co-operative Congress Board, which to-day we know 
better as the Co-operative Union. This grant later 
became one of £5 every half-year, until a more definite 
scale was arranged among the co-operative societies who 
are mem.bers of the Union. 

A Tea Party was held on August 24th ; and in October 
the sale of Ironmongery was commenced at Waterhouses 

So far as we know the committee had received no 
remuneration for their services, but they now decided 
themselves that their fees should be 2s. for each one for 
each meeting attended. 

The necessity at the Crook shop for more room had 
led to the stable being utilised for warehousing goods, 
and the committee had to look around for new stabling 
accommodation. This was secured in the back of North 
Terrace, and, as it proved, was the initial start towards 
the eventual purchase of more property in that locaUty, 
and the building of the present premises. 

At a price of £300, a dwelling-house (now a flour ware- 
house) and a stable and yard were purchased from Mr. 
John Kellett. The owners of the surrounding properties 
were Mr. James Wilson, Mr. W. J. PoUard, Mr. W. 
Whitfield, Mr. John Nicholson, Mr. G. Spence, and Mr. 
J. Bell. The new purchase covered a site of two hundred 
and thirty-six square yards ; and this land had pre- 
viously, in 1854, cost £12 2s. Od., or, roughly, Is. per 
square yard. Originally, about 1850, it may here be 
noted, practically all this part of North Terrace had 
belonged to one, Mr. Thomas Hodgson, and formed part 
of a fifty acre farm, tenanted by Mr. Thomas Thompson. 
The farm buildings were situate in Commercial Street, 

Our Society's Hislouj. 127 

adjacent west to the " Crown " Hotel. Mr. A. French, 
Mr. T. Pearson (Crook), and Mr. Wm. Bland were the 
signatures affixed to the deed on behalf of the Society, 
in connection with the transfer of the property. 

1873. — At the February General Meeting the chairman 
was the Rev. T. Dods, and an appeal was read from the 
Scissett Society for help, to which the members responded 
by granting one penny per member, and the sum of 
£3 10s. Od. was raised. 

The committee, in their half-yearly report, pointed 
out the desirability of extending the Society's premises, 
and the members finally voted full power to the manage- 
ment to purchase any property they thought necessary 
for the development of the Society's business. 

At the August meeting the members granted the sum 
of £5 to the West Pelton Society, " as some little help 
towards overcoming their troubles." 

Following this meeting the committee were advised 
that, with their growing surplus of current cash, some 
form of investment should be entered on in order to 
procure a better return than was being obtained ; and, 
after a deal of consideration, it was decided to deposit 
£2,000 in Messrs. Backhouse's Bank at 2| per cent, 

In October flour was dear, and 3s. per stone was 
charged to members. In the same month also, some 
encouragement — an order for twenty sacks — was given 
to a flour mill which had been started at Tow Law, and 
at later periods further orders were given. 

A gift of £1 was sent in November to the " Lock- 
smiths " at Wolverhampton. 

In the balance sheet for the period ending December, 
the number of members (1,138) was first shown on the 
balance sheet. 

1874. — The February meeting favoured the recom- 
mendation, " That land be secured at Howden-le-Wear, 
and, as soon as possible, a branch store erected and 




c'1':nti!ai. sLAT'(;HT>:i;-H(.)rsj-: a.xd shoi'. 

ST.Ar(iHTj-:i;-H(irsi'; (watkkhoi-sks branch). 

130 Oitr Society's History. 

Mr. Mark Willey left the committee, and Mr. John 
Ashman, Waterhouses, was appointed to the position. 

Later on, the Society paid £95 for a horse. This sum 
is the largest ever paid by the Society ; and those who 
can remember the animal describe it as a " magnificent 

The promotion of a new branch at Howden occupied 
the attention of the committee ; and, following some 
enquiries about land owned by Mr. G. Hutchinson, it 
was decided to offer £750 for Mr. Flowers' property, and, 
after a little delay, the purchase was completed, the 
price being £770. Mr. T. Armstrong and Mr. W. 
Hutchinson were the sub-committee elected to buy the 
property. This was in May, and the branch was soon 
in operation, with Mr. George Cloustone, from the Crook 
shop, as its first nianager. 

Quickly following the completion of the Howden 
branch arrangements, the board busied themselves in 
their quest for a site on which to build a larger 
Central Store, which had already, through the rapid 
increase of business, become an urgent necessity. Mr. 
George Spence's propcirty, in North Terrace, was 
announced to be sold, and the Society decided to make 
an effort to secure the jwemises offered. The committee 
agreed that they were prepared to go up to £1,800, and 
Mr. Wm. Robson was appointed to make the purchase. 
The sale was on June 3rd, and the secretary and Mr. 
Alex. French were appointed to attend in the interests 
of the Society. The property was knocked down at 
£2,100, the Society being the purchasers. This was £300 
in excess of what had been determined on, and occasioned 
some grumbling amongst the committee. A special 
meeting was held on June 8th, to consider the matter, 
and, after discussion, the committee resolved : — 

" That the purchasers of the property be exoner- 
ated from all blame." 
The price may at that time have appeared to be excessive, 
but later happenings fully justified the purchase, as it 

Our Society's Hislory. 131 

enabled the Society to gradually become the possessor 
of premises second to none in their commanding situation 
in the town. The pvirchase covered a total of seven 
hundred and eighty-one square yards, which as land, in 
1854 had previously cost £131, or about 3s. 4-|d. per 
square yard. When the Society bought it, there were 
in Lot 1 a dwelling-house, butcher's shop, and yard with 
outbuildings, and the occupier was Mr. Thomas Raw. 
Lot 2 consisted of a dwelling-house and grocer's shop, 
stable, bakehouse, byre, and outbuildings ; the occujoiers 
were Mr. R. D. Hill and Mr. E. Spence. Having secured 
the site, the committee at once began on their work of 
building up premises worthy of the Society. Mr. T. 
Waddle, Waterhouses, who had often presided over the 
general meetings, was appointed to draft up an ideal 
plan. A prize of £20 was then offered to the architect 
who submitted the best plaii nearest to the ideal, and 
this was won by a Mr. Macara, of Darlington. In Dec- 
ember he was engaged to prepare specifications, and also 
to act as inspector when the building was commenced 

This year the meiiibers decided against holding the 
Annual Tea Party, and iii its place an Excursion was 
arranged to Smiderland : — 

" If possible when the Channel Fleet are in." 

A respected townsman, in Mr. Thomas Pickering, 
stationmaster, left the town at this time, and the Society 
subscribed ten shillings towards a testimonial which was 
given him by the townspeople. 

CHAl'TBE Vlll. 


V^HE February General Meeting decided that the 
^^-^ laying of the foundation stone of the new Central 
premises should be signalised by the holding of a 
Public Tea, after a procession round the^town, and^also 
that a band should be engaged for the occasion. 

On March 24th Mr. Andrew Reid was engaged in the 
office, and he still remains with the Society as one of its 
most capable chief clerks. 

On May 19th Mr. Thomas Pearson was appointed to 
the grocery department. Here he worked for twenty- 
eight years, until his regretted death in September, 1903. 
Always pleasant and courteous, his death occasioned 
deep sympathy from the committee, employees, and 
customers alike. 

A gift of £5 was made to the Blethnavon Society, in 
response to an urgent appeal for help. 

Mr. Pedelty, in the performance of his duties as treas- 
urer, had to visit the Waterhouses branch, and he had 
to make the journey on foot. The committee decided 
this was asking too much of their official ; whilst there 
was also a certain amount of risk in carrying the money. 
A conveyance was hired for future journeys. 

The committee, who paid dividends, had received 
four shillings each, and they were now given five shillings. 

In June the question of holidays to the employees was 
considered, and it was resolved : — 

" That servants of the Society^ should have three 
days holiday each this summer." 
During the half-year the Society made an investment 
of £5 in the Co-operative Newspaper Society Limited. 



■S"\^ ._ 

A^DKI' w Rfid, 

\LL'onnt Lnt 

40i 1. 11 s IM 1 




134 Our Society's History. 

In July an old and valued auditor and member of the 
committee, in Mr. Thomas Swan, passed away. He 
had been responsible for much valuable assistance to 
the Society in its financial affairs, and, at the August 
General Meeting, a motion was carried unanimously : — 

" That £5 be presented to Mrs. Swan as a recogni- 
tion of her late husband's devotedness to the Co- 
operative movement in the district, together with 
an expression of sympathy." 

The laying of the foundation stone was fixed for 
August 21st, and it was decided to ask Messrs. Ruther- 
ford, Joseph Cowan, and Jas. Watson to be present ; 
failing these, Messrs. L. Jones, T. Burt, G. Dover, and 
J. W. Pease were to be invited. We have not been able 
to obtain any very authentic account of the proceedings, 
or of the prominent parties amongst those invited who 
were able to be present. Mr. Isaac Wilson, we believe, 
in the end laid the foundation stone ; and; for his broad- 
mindedness and his desire to assist co-operators, was the 
recipient of many " blacli looks " from those outsiders 
who were opposed to co-operation. The building of the 
new store had been let to Messrs. Simpson and Cowling, 
Darlington, whose tender was £1,503 3s. 4d. ; whilst 
for the plumbing and glazing, the tender of Mr. H. Fetch, 
Darlington, at £261 14s. Od., was accepted. The shop 
fittings were provided by the late Mr. William Lax, 
Crook, at his tendered price, £295 ; and the late Mr. A. 
Ryder, for many years a sculptor in the town, carried 
out the paving work at a cost of £28. At a later period 
the members decided to have a clock placed in a promi- 
nent place in the new building, but " it had not to be a 
striking clock." Further, it had to be lighted up every 
night until ten o'clock, and to eleven o'clock on Saturday 
nights. The clock was supplied by the late Mr. C. B. 
Mazzucchi at a cost of £40, and he had to keep it in proper 
going order for twelve months, at the end of which time 
he was paid £2 per year for his attention to the clock. 
It is stated that the reason the clock had not to be a 

fe E^ 

136 Our Society's History. 

" striker " was because fears were entertained " that the 
building would be endangered by the vibration." 

In November the hours of closing were changed a 
little. Instead of 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, it 
became 7 p.m. on the former and 9 p.m. on the latter 

The committee kej^t a careful supervision over the 
erection of the new premises, and at one meeting we find 
a record which reads : — 

" That Mr. Maeara take a pillar out of the front 
of the new store, and a fresh one put in, and that the 
following resolution be sent to him : — ' That the 
front of the building is considered unsafe, and that 
immediate steps be taken to put it right.' " 

1875. — The February General Meeting decided that 
the attendances of the committee were to be shown on 
the balance sheet every half-year. 

There was, at this time, an effort being made to run 
a Store at Sunnisidc, but it was not meeting with success, 
and an appeal was made to our Society to shoulder the 
venture. The members left the question in the hands of 
the committee for further investigation, and their report 
to a Special General Meeting on March 6th was as 
follows : — 

" That Crook Store does not take steps in taking 
up the Sunniside Store, without they first advertise 
for all creditors to send in their claims, and after 
that for us to take stock and put a j)roper value 
on all." 

On a vote being taken, it was decided by 41 Aotes 
against 28 : — 

" Not to take up the Sunniside Store." 

On March 15th Mr. John Lowther was engaged in the 
grocery department at 15s. per week. A man well versed 
in his trade, he made progress, and later became manager 
of the department, and afterwards was appointed 

138 Our Society's Histonj. 

general manager on the death of Mr. Wm. Burnip in 
1906. This position he retained until 1913, when ill- 
health caused him to retire. In the following year he 
died, amidst general regret. 

The erection of the new stores was rapidly being pro- 
ceeded with, and arrangements were put in order for the 
opening ceremony. This auspicious event was fixed for 
September 2nd, 1876, and the following account — for 
which we are indebted to the editor of the Auckland 
Chronicle — gives a very full account of the proceedings: — 

Extract from the " Auckland Mercury," September 
7th, 1876. 


" Opening of the New Stores. 

" On Saturday afternoon, the new stores of the Crook 
Industrial Co-operative Society were formally opened at 
Crook. The stores, the foundation stone of which was laid 
on the 22nd August, 1875, are situated in North Terrace, 
and form a valuable addition to the architectural 
features of the town. The following is a description of 
the buildings : — The building, which is in the Gothic 
style of architecture, covers an area of 809 square yards, 
and contains, on the basement floor, two cellars, 43 feet 
6 inches by 20 feet ; ground floor — grocers' shop, 50 feet 
by 25 feet ; drapery shop, 44 feet by 19 feet ; warehouse, 
43 feet 6 inches by 20 feet ; scullery, pantry, water- 
closets, etc. First floor — milliners' shop, 26 feet by 
22 feet 6 inches ; tailors' shop, 20 feet 6 inches by 
18 feet 6 inches ; shoemakers' shop, 26 feet by 12 feet ; 
shoemakers' workshop, 20 feet 8 inches by 14 feet ; 
manager's sitting-room, 21 feet by 12 feet ; kitchen, 
20 feet by 18 feet ; flour warehouse, 28 feet 6 inches by 
20 feet 8 inches. Second floor — miUiners' workshop, 
26 feet by 22 feet 6 inches ; tailors' workshop, 24 feet 
6 inches by 22 feet 6 inches ; committee-room, 21 feet 
6 inches by 12 feet ; and three bed-rooms. The front of 

Our Society's Historu. 139 

the building is formed of pitch-faced blockers, in level 
courses, with ashlar dressings ; the back walling is 
formed of brickwork. The entire cost of the building 
(exclusive of the site) is about £3,300. 

" The contractors for the brick, stone, and plaster 
work were Messrs. Simpson and Cowling ; carpenter and 
joiners' work, Messrs. Laverick and Foster ; slaters' 
work, Messrs. Atkinson and Son ; plumber and glaziers' 
work, Mr. H. Fetch ; painters' work, Messrs. Wilson and 
Mellis — all of Darlington. The fittings were executed 
by Mr. W. Lax, of Crook. Mr. Macara, Darlington, 
was the architect. 

"At 2 o'clock on Saturday afternoon the committee 
and several of the members assembled at the stores, 
when they were declared open by Dr. Gammage, of 
Sunderland. The Woolley Prize Brass Band then 
promenaded the principal streets, and then repaired to a 
field near the British Schools (lent by Mr. Kellett), where 
a meeting was held. It was announced on the bills that 
Mr. -David Dale, Mr. Lloyd Jones, and Mr. John Morrell 
would deliver addresses, but, in consequence of business 
engagements, these three gentlemen were unable to 
attend. Several hundred people having assembled in 
the field, Mr. Isaac Wilson was voted to the chair. 

" The chairman, in opening the meeting, said it was 
with much feeling that he looked back some thirty years 
to a time when co-operation, then in its infancy, and 
badly understood, was fiercely opposed by the prejudice 
of every class, and stigmatised as atheists, infidels, and 
firebrands. (Laughter.) The supporters of co-opera- 
tion had then failed to establish their principle ; and 
when they considered the opposition, they could scarcely 
wonder at the failure, but, in failing, these pioneers sowed 
the seed which had now sprung up in such abundance 
over the land. (Applause.) It was in 1850 that he 
came to Crook to establish a small co-operative store in 
Commercial Street. They struggled on with that little 
store ; and if they failed in their mission, the seed had 

140 Our Soc'iRtii'n History. 

sjirung up in the splendid building they had opened that 
day. (Applause.) His conduct in taking a prominent 
part in this matter might be questioned by some, as it had 
been at the laying of the corner-stone, but he did not 
care for that, for he believed in his conscience that he 
was doing his duty. (Hear, hear.) Co-operation stood 
now in a vastly different position from what it did in 
those days to which he had referred. Then the middle 
classes were in enmity to the working classes — witness 
the Chartist agitation, when thousands of their fellow- 
countrymen were thrust in durance vile for demanding 
their rights. Before he had been three months in Crook, 
a letter in the Durham Chronicle, a column long, called 
upon the police and every other authority to put down 
that man, Isaac Wilson, of Crook. (Laughter.) The 
only consequence of that letter was that he filled every 
pane in his window with the most radical publications of 
the day, and he heard no more about the matter. (Hear, 
hear, and laughter.) Since those days, co-operation was 
recognised as a power in the land. (Applause.) 

" Dr. Ganimage, Sunderland, said he too had a vivid 
recollection of the days referred to by Mr. Wilson, when 
there was no protection for the property of co-operative 
societies — when they were, in fact, illegal societies, and 
when their property was at the mercy of any rascal of a 
secretary or manager who might choose to rob them. 
Thanks to the efforts of the working classes — the working- 
men of this country, in the shape of co-operative societies 
and trade unions, had gained a standing-point to work 
their own emancipation. (Applause.) Apart from a 
financial point of view, co-operation benefited the 
working classes, though monetarily the advantage was 
great. The earnings of the working-men were scant 
enough, and anything which would induce them to make 
a good use of their money instead of spending it in pubhc- 
houses amid the fumes of beer and tobacco, would be 
profitable to themselves, and to their wives and families. 
(Hear, hear.) Co-operation was an educator of the 
people, to teach them their social and political position ; 

Our Society's History. 141 

and he believed that if working-men had understood 
their position properly, the nation would never have 
rushed into wars, and they should consequently never 
have been saddled with a debt of eight hundred millions. 

" Mr. James Watson, Newcastle, was the next speaker. 
He said that, if there was anything calculated to promote 
the independence — and he liked the word ' independence' 
(Hear, hear) — of the working classes of this country, it 
was the co-operative movement. They were in a queer 
position in this country, politically speaking, and if it 
were not for the good sense that was abroad, and the 
independence and intelligence that were among the 
people at this present moment, they would have some- 
thing like tmto a state of war — they would have been 
. attempting to prop up the poor, old, sick, dying man 
(Laughter), who had been dying so long, and who would 
have been dead twenty years ago had it not been for 
England's stupidity. (Hear, hear.) He had no doubt 
but that their aristocratic tory government would at that 
moment draw them into war if it were not for the sense 
of the people of England. The power which the law 
now gave working-men in dealing with the secretaries 
and managers of their co-operative stores was the same 
as it gave them over their government, and if they saw 
the government leading them to disaster, they could say, 
' You have done your mischief ; go about your business, 
and we will see someone else to conduct the affairs of the 
State.' (Applause.) When, in a country like this, they 
raise for the government yearlj' the sum of £70,000,000, 
and they had the confounded impudence to tell them 
it is not enough, was it not time the people stood upon 
their independence, and told the government that if they 
could not conduct the business of the nation in a better 
manner than to be compelled to spend £75,000,000 a 
year, it was time that they went away, and that some- 
body else took their places. (Applause.) If the 
working-men carried out properly the work which had 
been described to them by the previous speakers, they 

142 Our Society's History. 

would secure their own interests, and the power which 
properly belonged to them ; but they would never attain 
these objeots if they kept depending upon other people 
to do what they ought to do themselves. (Hear, hear.) 
It is time that such cannibalism as that was got out of 
the world. (Laughter and applause.) They were a 
marching race, and they would never progress unless 
they had light, reason, and intelligence. (Hear, hear.) 
Co-operation, if rightly understood, would carry out all 
the objects he had spoken of, but he was afraid too much 
attention was paid to dividend mite. (Hear, hear and 
laughter.) He hoped, however, that co-operation would 
be supported for something higher than that, and they 
would all remember that co-operation included the 
welfare of not only themselves but their fellow-men. 
(Loud Applause.) 

" Mr. Burnip, the general secretary, then read the 
Report, which stated that the Crook Industrial Co-opera- 
tive Society originated in 1865 with forty members, and 
a capital of £67 10s. Id., and now it had about two 
thousand members and a capital of over £16,000. The 
receipts for last year amounted to £83,000, and the profits 
available -for dividend realised £9,600. He also read the 
architect's report, which will be found above. 

" Votes of thanks to chairman and speakers terminated 
the meeting, and afterwards a ' monstre tea ' was held 
in a large marquee erected in the field, when several 
hundreds sat down." 

The entrance into the new premises was responsible 
for a re-arrangement of the working methods, and Mr. 
Thomas Simpson was appointed working foreman in the 
grocery department, and Mr. John J. Pedelty to a 
similar position in the drapery department. Mr. Thomas 
Purdy and Miss Cole were also engaged for the latter 
place, whilst Miss Henderson was appointed head 
milliner, and stayed with the Society till 1881. The 
latter lady is now Mrs. George Wearmouth, a resident of 

Our Society's Hinori/. 143 

CuUercoats. Mr. Abraham Richardson, in September, 
was given the appointment as working tailors' cutter, 
and Mr. Thomas Richardson, also, in the same month, 
was given the post of foreman in the boot and shoe 
department. The latter was very popular, and every 
regret was expressed at his sudden death, which occurred 
in 1906, when he came home ill after his usual annual 
holidays, and died immediately. 

Hay was again very dear during this winter, and cost 
£7 10s. Od. per ton. 

The lack of banking facilities was badljr felt, and the 
secretary was instructed to approach Messrs. Backhouse 
and Co., requesting them to open a daily branch in the 

At Waterhouses, Mr. Thomas Hall was engaged for 
the boot department, and it was also decided : — 

" To occupy his shop, at 2s. 6d. per week, till we 
get a place of our own." 

The quarterly meeting, in November, voted a grant of 
£2 as help to the Glynn Heath Society. 

In December the committee were desirous of investing 
£500 in North Eastern Railway Consols. The money, 
however, was returned, as it was found the Society could 
not invest in its own name, but that trustees were 
required. The Society lacked trustees, but later this 
deficiency was remedied. 

The almanacs given away at the festive season were 
" Descent from the Cross " and " The Lord's Prayer." 

Chapter IX. 


aOMMENCING January, 1877, the committee 
decided to allow five per cent, to non-members 
on making their purchases, but this decision was 
soon rescinded. In this same month, a member com- 
plained of the hand-made boots. After a proper investi- 
gation, the committee expressed themselves as satisfied — 
" That our boots made at the Store are as well 
worth 21s. as the pair produced bj- Mr. Heslop at 
16s. 6d. ; considering quality of top and bottom 
and workmanship." 

As an experiment, goods were delivered to members 
who had gone to reside at Leasingthorne, but it was not 
a success, and was early discontinued. 

Bacon was sold at 6|d. per pound, and hamat 7-^d. 
per pound ; fiour fluctuated in price, being 3s. per stone 
one month and 2s. per stone the next. 

The August General Meeting decided that a detailed 
statement of the accounts of the various departments 
and branches had to appear on future balance sheets. 
The sales had, up to this period, appeared in one item. 
For the half-years ending June and December, 1877, 
they were sub-divided into groceries and provisions, 
drapery, tailoring, boot and shoe, and miUinery depart- 
ments, without, however, distinguishing as to the separ- 
ate sales at the Central, Waterhouses, and Howdcn 
shops. This method was altered in the balance sheet 
ending June, 1878, when the trading account of every 
department was shown — a practice still in vogue. The 
departments then running were : Crook — groceries and 
23rovisions, drajjery, ready-made clothing, millinery, and 

Our Society's History. 145 

boots and shoes ; Waterhouses — groceries and provi- 
sions, drapery, millinery, and boots and shoes ; Howden 
— groceries and provisions, drapery, and boots and shoes. 
The August meeting, in 1877, also touched on the 
question of " Quoit-playing in the Store yard by the 
emploj^ees," and the committee were instructed to give 
the matter their immediate attention. - It was after- 
wards decided : — 

" That the question of quoit-playing be upon the 
following conditions : — That under no circumstances 
any money be allowed to be played for, and, failing 
that, that they be done away with altogether." 

From all accounts, some of these dinner and tea-time 

games provided some gay old times. 

In August, Mr. T. Pedelty, as treasurer, was bound 
for £500, and he was instructed to bank all money 
possible at Bishop Auckland every Saturday. 

Mr. Brown, the printer of the balance sheets, was 
informed that he had to get a view of the Store premises 
printed on the sheets ; failing which, he would lose the 

Trade was gradually slackening in all parts of the 
country, and we see a reflection of it in many of the 
decisions carried both at the general meetings and in 

1878. — The Society was feeling the effects to some 
extent, as is evidenced by the motion at the February 
General Meeting, 1878 : — 

" Urging the committee to evolve some means 

of increasing the sales and reducing the working 

At this meeting a grant of £50 was made from the Reserve 
Fund towards the relief of the Northumberland miners. 
The latter were on strike, and, with their families, were 
suffering many hardships. A motion by Mr. Wm. Heslop 
to introduce professional stocktakers and auditors was 
negatived by the members. 

146 Our Societi/'s History. 

The " chib card " system was introduced in February. 

In May, we note the engagement of Mr. George Wm. 
Burnip, Peases West. He was a son of the late Mr. John 
Burnip, and a nephew of the late Mr. Wm. Burnip. 
An able man, and gifted in many ways, he was in the 
clerical department up to his untimely and sincerely 
regretted death in 1900. 

Tobacco was reduced to the old prices, but only half 
dividend was paid on this article. 

The Stores were now closed at 6 p.m. on Thursdays, 
Fridays at 8 p.m., and Saturdays at 9 p.m. At Water- 
houses it was 9 p.m. on Fridays, and 8 p.m. on Saturdays. 

The continued depression in trade was severelj'' felt 
on the Waterhouses side ; and we note that hereabouts 
many members emigrated to America. A goodly 
number of our Howden customers also went to live at 
Durham, and the Society decided to deliver goods to 
them in that city. Later some of the employees, on 
account of the trade decrease, had to suffer a reduction 
in their wages, whilst others had to take alternate weeks 
of " holiday "! The committee gave orders that goods 
had to be given to the local soup kitchens. The general 
meeting afterwards found fault with this decision, but the 
question must have been serious, as, a little later, the 
committee were given full power to commence soup 
kitchens at Crook, Waterhouses, and Howden, and con- 
tinue them, if necessary, during the winter. 

On November 20th Mr. Wm. Taylor was elected to the 
committee in the place of Mr. T. Waddle ; and, on 
December 4th, Mr. John Rowlinson was appointed in 
place of Mr. D. Scott. 

1879. — From Janua,ry, 1879, full dividend was paid 
on tobacco. 

A decision on January 22nd by the committee, " that 
a certain well-known patent medicine should not be 
sold," was probably due to some trouble over the price 
charged to the Society, and not on account of any 
absence of sickness in the district. 

Our Society's History. 147 

Miss Varty was head milliner at Waterhouses at this 
period, and she left in 1881, when Miss Elliott was 
appointed. The latter stayed until 1883, and Miss 
Thompson, who was engaged, remained with the Society 
till 1888. 

A resolution to appeal against the assessments on the 
various properties owned by the Society fell through, 
owing to excessive charges required by valuers. 

Bacon sold at 5d. per pound, and ham at 6d. per 

On April 30th a sum of £20 was sent towards the 
general funds of the Durham Miners' Association. 
Grants were also frequently made towards new roads and 
new bridges in the district. Some of these included : — 
£3 to the new bridge at Esh Colliery, in October, 1878 ; 
£3 to a bridge at New Houses, Waterhouses, in June, 

1880 ; £5 to repair road at Hamsteels, in November, 

1881 ; £3 7s. 6d. to making road at Cornsay from 
Hamsteels, September, 1882 ; £10 to making the Hope 
Street end, and another £10 to be given if the plans were 
satisfactory to the committee. 

On October 1st Mr. J. J. Pedelty resigned his position, 
and went to Skelton-in-Cleveland. He did not stay long 
with the latter Societj^, and was again engaged by our 
Society in Januarj', 1880. Miss Cole was given charge 
of the department, and this post she held until 1881, 
when she left the Society's service, and Mr. Pedelty was 
again appointed foreman. 

1880. — In May an appeal was made from Hamsteels, 
desiring the Society to commence a branch store in that 
village, but the decision was : — 

" That we have no idea of commencing a branch 
estabhshment at Hamsteels at present." 

On August 14th Mr. Wm. Domville was engaged for 
the Howden shop. He later became manager at this 
branch, which position he held till he left the Society 
in 1913. 

148 (Jar Society's History. 

The August General Meeting decided that the Water- 
houses district should be allowed an extra representative 
on the committee. For many years Mr. Wm. Bland 
had held the office of chairman, but he at this time was 
superseded by Mr. Jos. Patterson. 

In October there was a re -arrangement of the depart- 
ments at Waterhouses, and millinery was introduced. 
A motion Avas also passed : — 

" That none of the .servants in the Store be 
allowed to keep poultry or pigs." 

Mr. John Ashman, Waterhouses, who in the early days 
was a member of the committee, achieved a fair amount 
of success as a local poet, and his lines on the Co-operative 
Stores were well received by the members at that time, 
and we do not doubt but they will afford interest to those 
members of a more recent date. 


The best thing, say some men, for raising the nation. 
Would be to give all men a good education ; 
While others will tell you 'tis their inclination 
To think there is nothing will beat combination ; 
And others declare this (without hesitation). 
That nought will succeed without co-operation. 
Now I, for myself, think (if all would agree), 
'Twould be best to try, not only one, but all three. 

A few men at Crook, in eighteen-sixty-four. 
Resolved they woizld have a Co-operative Store ; 
They felt quite determin'd, like good men and true 
To try what their united efforts would do. 
They started at first on a very small scale ; 
For some time they had not a very large sale ; 
I believe the first year they were somewhat in -debt, 
No matter, said they, we will not give up yet. 
Some said, " Pooh ! pooh ! they'll not go on long. 
They'll n&v&r succeed, they're not very strong ; 
If they do not break, they'll very soon bend, 
Like all other upstarts, they'll come to an end." 

Our Society's History. 149 

But they did go on and began to compete. 

And removed to a much larger shop in Hope Street ; 

The clouds were dispersed, the sun shone out brighter, 

And soon our committee-men's burden got lighter. 

Our numbers increased every week more and more, 

And strangers in Crook asked the way to the Store ; 

Should any feel doubtful that this was the case. 

Ask that fine looking building in Crook market-place. 

We sent a lad out in the countx-y for orders ; 

The time had arrived for extending our borders ; 

*' Let's do this.^^ said one man, " and don't let us dally I 

Let's open a branch store in Deerness Valley." 

A meeting was summoned without more delay. 

To hear what the members and friends had to say ; 

The thing was moved, seconded, carried, and so 

A small shop was taken at Hamilton Row. 

All needful arrangements were very soon made. 

And soon we were doing a pretty good trade ; 

The ladies went shopping with bright smiling faces, 

New members flocked in from the neighbouring places. 

But still the committee "were not quite content. 

They thought they would like to save paying more rent ; 

And as the Society had much stronger grown, 

'Twas time we were building a store of our own. 

So landwas secured, and the contract was made, 

The plans were drawn up, and the foundation laid ; 

The building was reared, and all made complete ; 

It stands on your right, going down Russell Street. 

The business is thriving, we're still getting stronger, 

We're not to be laugh'd at, or pooh'd any longer ; 

In numbers we beat some Societies hollow ; 

We've two thousand members and still more to follow. 

Our members residing down yon side of Crook 

Began to have quite a dissatisfied look ; 

They said, " If we can't have a store, 'tis a pity "; 

Their request was at once brought before the committee. 

The ladies complain'd they had too far to go ; 

The thing was considered, decided, and so 

When the committee could see their way clear, 

They opened a store down at Howden-le-Wear. 

We've a choice stock of goods now on hand, I am told. 

And dividend 's paid on the articles sold ; 

Our members will tell you (tho' rather unwilling) 

They now have a poXxnd where thej' hadn't a shilling. 

Now, ladies, allow me to call your attention 

To some of these articles I will now mention ; 

To purchase our goods "we don't wish to compel you. 

But, please, is there any thing here we can sell you ? 

150 Our Society's History. 

Our wheat-meal and flour are of excellent quality, 
And what I now say is the truth in reality ; 
With good yeast and good flour (a lady once said), 
The housewife should always have excellent bread. 
We have good lard and bacon, salt butter and sweet ; 
Good bread and good butter is always a treat ; 
We have good ham and eggs, Wensleydale and Dutch 

Good rice and good corn-flour, pearl barley and peas. 
We have coffee and cocoa, and chicory too. 
Dry soap, washing powders, soda and blue. 
Sago and matches, Bath biscuits and starch ; 
You couldn't find better in twenty days march. 
Our raisins and currants (as sweet as pure honey). 
Better fruit can't be bought anywhere for the money ; 
If you wish to feel happy, lightsome, and free, 
XTse our dandelion coffee and grand " Nabob " tea. 
We've an excellent stock of tobacco on hand. 
As good as you'll buy anywhere in the land ; 
We've black twist and brown twist, for chewers and 

And choice-scented high dry, and Scotch snuff for 

And white, brown, yellow, and blue-mottled soap, 
Will lather a pitman, a parson, or pope ; . 
Our treacle and sugars cannot be surpassed 
For quality, colour, and excellent taste. 
We have mustard and vinegar, black and white peppei', 
Worcester sauce, Yorkshire relish, cassia, all-spice, and 

Candied peel, nutmegs, salt, whiting, and yeast ; 
So we say that our blacklead and blacking's the best. 
Bread seeds, bird seeds, brushes, broom heads and 

Hair-oil and milk, paraffin and pit candles ; 
Barley meal, pollard, rough barley, and bran, 
Indian meal for cattle, and oatmeal for man. 
We have choice jams and jellies, and grand marmalade. 
From London, and Glasgow, and Stockton-on-Tees ; 
Shall we send you a half-dozen pots, if you please ? 
We've salmon, lobster, rabbit, boiled mutton, and corned 

Good enough for a king, queen, prince, duke, or thief ; 
Potatoes and onions and good apples too ; 
Better get a few stones, I'm sure you'll not rue. 

We've Clayton's, and Beecham's, and HoUoway's pills. 
To cure all diseases and bodily ills, 

Our Society's History. 161 

We've Dr. Rooke's medicine, and cod liver oil. 

To nourish the lungs, and consumptioii to foil. 

Composition essence and essence of linseed. 

Two very good things for a bad cold, indeed ; 

We have Clarke's blood mixture, and quinine wine, 

And those who have taken it say it is fine. 

We have castor oil, olive oil, paints and varnish ; 

Mother Seigil's syrup, and furniture polish ; 

Our camomile, gentian root, and hops, I hear. 

With sugar and ginger makes good bitter beer. 

We've sewing and wringing machines, pails and poss 

sticks ; 
Clothes lines and clothes pegs, pick shafts and picks ; 
Bait tins, candle boxes, tin bottles, and cans. 
Cake tins, loaf tins, lamps, and frying pans 
Dutch ovens, dripping tins, dust pans, and skuttles, 
Metal pans, coffee pots, teapots, and kettles ; 
And numerous other things, both large and small ; 
But I cannot give you the names of them all. 

Our boots, shoes, and slippers are made of good leather. 
Manufactured to suit either wet or dry weather. 
With low heels, and high heels to make you look tall. 
With thin soles and thick soles, and no souls at all. 
We have strong boots and shoes, for the coke-yard and 

pit ; 
Whatever your size, we can perfectly fit ; 
When out of repair, you have only to send them ; 
We keep a good cobbler on purpose to mend them. 

Our millinery department is always replete 

With various articles, both stylish and neat ; 

We've jackets and Ulsters for children and ladies ; 

Coats, capes, frocks, bibs, and linen for babies. 

Shawls, shawlettes, stays, corsets, and dress caps. 

Silk, straw, felt, fur, and pompadore hats. 

Mitts, infantees, gaiters, wool jackets, and hoods ; 

In no other shop can you buy better goods. 

Should any good lady require a cheap bonnet. 

With plenty of flowers and ribbons put on it. 

Then make out your order, and send it, or take it 

To one of our milliners, who'll very soon make it. 

We've velvet, feathers, satin, silk, net, lace, and crapes, 

Ruche, tulle, hair brushes, bonnets, fronts, and shapes. 

152 Oui- Society's History. 

Buckles, birds, brooches, bows, and other ornaments ; 

And first-class silk umbrellas, for ladies or gents. 

We have belts, tails, plaits, or as good a chignon 

As any fair damsel could wish to put on ; 

Pinafores, aprons, underclothing, and skirts ; 

In the drapery line we have ready-made shirts, 

Calicoes, diapers, hoUands, and harns. 

Ready-made stockings, wools, worsteds, and yarns. 

Handkerchiefs, braces, scarfs, mufflers, and ties. 

Gloves, cuffs, and collars of various size. 

Silk falls for the ladies, to cover their faces, 

Hair nets and frillings, buttons, tapes, threads, and laces. 

Reels, needles, and pins, "white and black hooks and eyes ; 

Our flannel and prints competition defies. 

Fringes, white fronts, ice-wool, and wool boots. 

Topcoats and cord trousers, men's and boys' suits, 

Cotton, busks, hessian, towels, hard and soft hats. 

Black cords, alpacas, Sicilians, and braids. 

Cashmeres, merinoes, furs, damask, and plaids. 

White linen, blue linen, kersey, and winseys. 

Blind cord, elastic, French twills, jean, and linseys, 

French llamas, Scotch tweeds, black cloth and blue ; 

Kidderminster carpets, and tapestry too ; 

Oil baizes, table cloths, furniture, and bedsteads ; 

Down, flocks, feathers, and ticking for beds ; 

Counterpanes, blankets, and all kinds of bedding. 

Cocoa mats, wool mats, hearth rugs, and wadding. 

We sell crockery, including white and brown mugs. 

Brown teapots, dinner plates, dishes, and jugs. 

Now, ladies and gents, should you like a look through 
Either one of our stores ? Then this you may do ; 
You may call any day through the week (without fear) 
At Crook, Waterhouses, or Howden-le-Wear. 
I've accomplished the task I set myself to, 
And what I have said I believe to be true ; 
However, should any be tempted to doubt it. 
Ask Parkinson, Burnip, or Cloustone about it. 
Let committee and members all pull well together, 
Nor try to defraud not the weight of a feather ; 
Let servants and managers stick well to their oars ; 
Three cheers for them all, and success to the STOBES. 

Chapter X. 


'ZX'T the General Meeting in February, Mr. John Scott 
■tsJ'-^ gave notice of motion : — " That the question of 
districts be introduced at the Annual Meeting in 
August, and that the secretary prepare a list of members 
in each district." At the time appointed the scheme 
was discussed, but it was decided to elect the committee 
in the usual way. 

The Society — following on a slack period — was rapidly 
increasing its membership, which now totalled 2,350, 
with a capital of £17,904 19s. Id. to their credit. The 
sales for the half-year ending December, 1880, were 
£54,206 3s. 7d., an increase of £17,330 2s. 9d. 

Miss Swan, head of the Waterhouses drapery depart- 
ment, left the Society, and Mr. A. Earnshaw was ap- 
pointed to be foreman in her place. 

Mr. William Simpson was engaged on March 9th, and 
Mr. Roger Turnbull on March 23rd. The former is still 
engaged in the Central grocery department, whilst Mr. 
Turnbull is the present capable and esteemed cashier 
at Waterhouses. 

The Society had generally contributed to the Agri- 
cultural Show as each year came round, but this time 
we find a grant of five shillings to the Crook Industrial 
Show, which was held on June 8th. 

Mr. Wylam Richardson, who is now cashier at the 
Central, commenced at Waterhouses branch on Septem- 
ber 28th ; and Mr. John Armstrong, who was engaged 
on November 23rd, is now employed in the general 

15i Our Society's History. 

1882. — At the February HaH-yearly Meeting it was 
decided to pay dividend on all articles sold by the 
Society. Previously no dividend had been paid on sugar. 
An appeal was made for a branch store to be started at 
Tow Law, but the members decided : — 

" That there be no branch store at Tow Law at 
present, or so long as there exists a store at Tow 

At the August General Meeting the question of the 
constitution of the committee, regarding how the differ- 
ent districts were to be represented, was discussed. It 
was agreed to have branch and not district representa- 
tion, and that there should be three members for the 
Waterhouses district and one for the Howden district. 
The pay of the committee was fixed as follows : — All who 
reside in Crook, or within a radius of one mile, to be paid 
one shilling ; outside one mile, one shilling and sixpence ; 
the Waterhouses representatives, two shillings per night. 
An appeal for a subscription towards the Miners' Per- 
manent Relief Fund was not granted. The committee 
were empowered to invest the Society's funds to the best 
advantage, and Mr. Wm. Burnip, Mr. T. Pedelty, Mr. 
Wm. Robinson, and Mr. Henry Bowes were appointed 
as trustees. 

1883. — In January the secretary and manager, Mr. 
Wm. Burnip, met with a regrettable and serious accident. 
He was returning home in a trap from Waterhouses, 
when the horse " shied," and Mr. Burnip was thrown 
out on to the road. On being picked up and examined, 
it was found that his leg was broken. He was conveyed 
home, and every attention was given him, but he had 
many painful weeks ere he was able to discard his 

The Society experienced some trouble with Mr. 
Cloustone, manager at the Howden branch. He was 
recalled to the Crook shop, but refused to make the 
change, and Mr. J. Greener was therefore given charge 
of the Central grocery, and Mr. Thomas Simpson was 

Our Society's History. 156 

appointed to the Howden position, which he held until 
1904, when he left to commence business on his own 
account. A Special General Meeting was called to con- 
sider Mr. Cloustone's case, and a ballot was demanded 
of the members. The committee's decision was upheld 
by 1,646 votes to 504 — a clear majority of 1,142. 

There were at this period very many alterations made 
in the Rules, the committee appointed for the purpose 
of revising being Messrs. W. Heslop, T. Armstrong, 
J. Race, J. Young, Elwin Wilson, Jno. Parkin, Wm. 
Todd, Parkin Robinson, Jos. Middlemas, John Scott, 
Jos. Rudkin, Jont. Thompson, John Ivil, Benj. Coates, 
T. Lambert, W. Hodgson, J. Barron, J. Evans, T. Dover, 
Henry Bowes, L. Hood, G. Woodhall, John Dawson, and 
James Dack. 

Miss Pawcett, who had been head milliner at the 
Central from 1881, left in August, and Miss Caisley was 

The question of the suggested branch at Tow Law 
again cropped up, and the secretary was instructed to 
write to the Tow Law Society, stating, " that the Crook 
Store had no idea of starting a branch there." 

The membership touched the 3,000 mark in June, and 
then followed, on August 8th, Mr. Lowther's appoint- 
ment as foreman in the grocery department. 

On December 19th Mr. Joseph Riddel 1 was engaged, 
and he remained until August of the present year, when 
he left the service of the Society. 

The necessity of enlarging the Central premises was 
once more apparent, in order to meet the rapidly increas- 
ing trade, and big alterations and additions were entered 
into. This ended in the building of that portion now 
occupied by the ready-mades and boot and shoe depart- 
ments, and the general manager's house. The Society, 
in July, had bought the existing buildings, comprising 
six freehold dwelling-houses, leased to Messrs. Bolckow 
and Vaughan for their Woodifield Colliery workers, and 
owned by Mr. John James Maddison. The purchase 

156 Our Society's History. 

price was £500, and as the site covered some four hundred 
and fifty-three square yards, the Society made a fairly 
good bargain. The houses — or cottages, as they might 
more correctly be described — were built about 1853. 
Two faced the Market, or village green, two were back 
houses, and the other two stood in the yard. The land, 
in 1853, belonged to G. Hutton Wilkinson, Esq., Har- 
perly Hall, who sold it to one — Mr. Arthur Coates for 
£53 10s. Od. — a price which worked out roughly at about 
2s. 5d. per square yard. The tenants of the houses in 
1853 were John Hutchinson, Esther Heseltine, John 
Temperley, John Parkin, Thomas Pickering, and Richard 
Oliver. These six cottages were situate where now 
stands the boot and shoe and ready-mades departments 
The portion occupied by the butcher's shop and mana- 
ger's house was formerly three dwelling-houses, owned 
by the late Mr. John Hare, who sold the land and houses 
to the Society for £500 in October, 1883. The site 
totalled two hundred and eighty-nine square yards, and 
was originally bought from G. H. Wilkinson, Esq., by 
Mr. Samuel Hare, in 1848, at a cost of £39 12s. Od., or 
nearly 2s. lOd. per square yard. 

Mr. R. H. Oughton was appointed to draw up plans 
and specifications for the extensions, and in this work 
he had an able assistant in Mr. Samuel Candler, a son of 
the late Mr. L. Candler, East Lodge. Mr. S. Candler is 
at the present time a valued member of the committee. 

The first item in the new order of things was the erec- 
tion of the present spacious warehouse at a cost of £1,050. 
Mr. Thomas Walton was the builder, and Mr. Richard 
Bousfield acted as clerk of the works. 

1884. — In the following May the tender of Mr. John 
Hare, at £2,200, was accepted for the erection of the new 
front premises. Meanwhile, Mr. Burnip and his family 
vacated their rooms, which they had resided in on the 
older premises, the lower part of which was added to the 
drapery department. For somewhere about twelve 
months, the manager resided in Gladstone Street, and 

Our Society's History. 157 

then the new portion was entered on. At the opening 
of the new premises, business was oommenoed straight- 
away, without any special opening proceedings, in 
accordance with the decision of the General Meeting. 

The new warehouse which had been added was, along 
with the stock it contained, insured for £6,000. Mr. Wm. 
Henderson, who had been warehouseman at Waterhouses 
from February, 1876, was given the appointment as the 
Crook warehouseman, and he served the Society nobly 
and faithfully for twenty -five years. He was the 
recipient of a nice present from his fellow-employees on 
the occasion of his leaving in 1901. He now possesses 
an excellent business at Leadgate. 

Mr. Charles Curl entered the Society as a clerk on 
February 27th, and to-day is still, as a traveller, a 
respected and popular worker. 

Distress, towards the month of May, Avas prevalent 
in the town and district, and, to assist in its alleviation, 
it was decided : — 

" That £50 worth of goods be given to the work- 
men in this district who are not in receipt of any 
funds from any other association. 

" That the goods shall be distributed to each 
family according to the number comprising the 
several families. 

" That all claims come through the several 

secretaries of the different lodges, whether Union 

men or not." 

The £50 worth was afterwards distributed amongst two 

hundred and thirty-six families, representing eight 

hundred and eighty-six persons, at Is. Id. per head. 

Members who had gone to live at Littleburn petitioned 
for a delivery of goods, and this was granted. The cart 
was sent once every month ; but in later years, despite 
the distance of some nine miles, deliveries of goods are 
made every fortnight, whilst the butcher and green- 
grocer visit the village every week. 

158 Our Societij's History. 

The meeting on July 23rd was the last over which 
Mr. Henry Bowes, Waterhouses, presided ; and, at the 
August General Meeting, a vote of sympathy was passed 
with him, and regret expressed that he was unable to 
continue his duties on the committee. 

In August deliveries of goods were commenced to 
Evenwood. In November this journey was discon- 
tinued, only to be revived a little later on the petition 
from members resident in that place. 

September saw another branching out in the food line. 
This was the introduction of the meat department. No 
slaughter-house was needed, for the supplies came from 
far over the seas, in the shape of mutton — genuine 
" frozen " mutton from New Zealand. 

The Auditor's Report for this half-year is well worth 
reading, and is appended : — 

" To the officers and members : 

" After carefully examining the books, vouchers, and 
other accounts of your Society, for the half-year ending 
June last, we have pleasure in testifying to the accuracy 
of the same, and that the balance sheet affords a correct 
statement of- the position of the Society. We have also 
examined the securities and deeds of the property and 
the investments, and find them to be complete. The 
total profits for the half-year amount to £10,356 12s. 1 Id. 
out of which — after setting aside £400 for depreciation of 
property, and £54 18s. 4d. for depreciation of fixed and- 
live stock, there remains available for dividend £9,901 
14s. 7d., being at the rate of 2s. 9d. in the £ on £72,012 
lis. 4d. of purchases. In conclusion, it is a subject for 
congratulation that, in view of the unusually dull times 
we have passed through, 3'our Society has been able so 
well to maintain its business and prosperity. 

" In addition to the ordinary report, your auditors 
have thought it might be useful to refer generally to the 
position of the Society, in reference to its plant and the 

Our Society's History. 159 

amount of its business. Notwithstanding the exten- 
sions now going on, the valuation of the Society's 
building, plant, etc., as given in the balance sheet, is 
lower, according to the extent of business, than in other 
large Societies in the county ; this is a satisfactory and 
reassuring feature. Thus, in a neighbouring large society 
it is over £22,000 ; while it is £10,875 only in your 
Society's balance sheet, and doing about three-fourths 
of the business. One good feature in the report of the 
Society referred to is the application of £900 to deprecia- 
tion — an example worthy of our imitation, on account 
of its tendency to place the Society in a stronger and 
more substantial position. The same plan as adopted 
by this Society is also followed, of taking the amount set 
aside for depreciation from the amount of the plant, 
which is in every way the best and most advantageous 

" We are, 

" Yours obediently, 


" Auditors." 

In August the employees made an effort to promote a 
Olee Party ; and, for purposes of singing practices, they 
requested the use of the room in the new warehouse, but 
this was not granted. 

In November Mr. Joseph Middlemas, Willington, was 
elected to the committee, in place of Mr. P. Robinson, 
who had resigned on removing from Crook. 

Following on the committee's great effort in the 
erection of the new Central premises, was an inquiry as 
to the requirements on the Waterhouses side of the hill. 
Mr. W. Heslop, Mr. J. Dack, Mr. T. Lambert, Mr. T. 
Binns, and Mr. G. Ward were appointed to make a full 
investigation, and they finally reported : — 

" That the stores at Waterhouses are insufficient 
for our purposes." 



Toji—CHVULH \\ iti ilii.nsts t'lii/u- SCHOOLS Witeiliousbs. 

j^ Lufluin — \\ATEHHOUSFS C'OLLiri;\ 

162 Our Society's History. 

The committee already had plenty of land for their 
project, as a ninety -nine years lease had been signed in 
1882 with Viscount Boyne for four hundred and sixty- 
two square yards, at a ground rental of £3 17s. Od. per 
annum. The agreement made was between Viscount 
Boyne on the one part, and Henry Bowes, Waterhouses, 
coke inspector ; Robert Paxton, Hamsteels, engineer ; 
Thomas Clark, Hedley Hill, coke labourer ; Benjamin 
Coates, Wooley, enginewright ; John Scott, Stanley, 
bank inspector ; John Race, overman, Anthony Flowers, 
coke inspector, William Askew, coal miner, William 
Robinson, railway policeman, and Thomas Lambert, 
coal miner, all of Crook ; William Vipond, Howden- 
le-Wear, school warden ; and Thomas Dover, Bowden 
Close, weighman ; the committee of the Crook Co-opera- 
tive Society Limited, on the other part. 

To Mr. George Ward, Waterhouses, was entrusted 
the drawing up of the plans and specifioations, and, in 
March, 1885, the contract was let to Mr. T. Walton, 
Crook, at £2,010. Mr. Ward, the architect, was engineer, 
at Waterhouses, and, in addition to being a skilful 
draughtsman, was a highly esteemed gentleman, and 
gained the respect of all with whom he came in contact. 

At a Special Meeting in May it was decided that, for 
future elections of the committee, the Society should be 
formed into six districts, viz. : — Crook, two represent- 
atives ; Wooley and Stanley, two ; Sunniside and Tow 
Law, two ; Brancepeth, two ; Waterhouses, three ; 
and Howden, one. The leader ill the Society's affairs 
had always been designated as " chairman," and was 
chosen by the committee, usually at their first meeting. 
It was, in August, decided to change this method by 
introducing the title of " president," and, under this 
heading, Mr. William Heslop was the first to be elected ; 
the appointment being made at the General Meeting. 
This same meeting refused an appeal from the Woodifield 
miners for help, on account of the great number out of 
work in the district. 

Our Society's History. 163 

The Tow Law Store question was again brought to the 
notice of the board, and the secretary had to write : — 

" Regretting that we cannot interfere with the 
question of the Tow Law Store." 

In October a move was made to introduce EngUsh 
mutton, and, a little later, it was fixed that the whole 
question of butchering and the dehvery of meat should 
receive special consideration. This latter was the deci- 
sion of the November Quarterly Meeting, at which 
notice of motion was also given that the Quarterly 
Meetings should be held alternately at Crook and Water 

On November 11th Mr. John Thompson was engaged 
as a wagon-boy. He afterwards became one of the pro- 
vision hands, and then was transferred to manage the 
Sunniside branch in 1906, and to a similar post at the 
Stanley branch in 1908. Mr. Thompson leftjin May, 
1911, to take up the position of general manager to the 
Swalwell Society, where he is still engaged. 

At this time there was a deal of discussion amongst 
the Northern societies, relative to the evils of over- 
lapping and other undesirable methods which were 
creeping into the co-operative movement. Much of the 
blame was attributed to the craze for high dividends, 
and, to meet this, meetings were held to endeavour that 
all societies should pay a uniform dividend. Our 
Society supported the movement, which, however, 
failed to procure operation. 

Mr. John Dawson, Crook, died in 1885. He was 
auditor to the Society almost from its beginning. Gifted 
with an extraordinary genius for figures, his assistance 
as an auditor in the direction of the Society's finances 
was always valued very highly, and his death removed 
one whose services had always gained the appreciation 
of the officials and members alike. 

Chapter XI. 


'/ I T the beginning of 1886, an effort was made to run 
(%Jr-^ branch butcher shops at Wooley, Oakenshaw, 
Tow Law, and Cornsay, but not one of these had 
a long run. The best cuts of beef were sold at 7Jd. per 
pound, other parts 7d., and hough at 6d. The Society, 
as yet, had not started to buy live cattle, but obtained 
their supphes from local butchers. 

The Half-yearly Meeting of members asked for a more 
detailed cash account in balance sheets in future, and it 
was decided that the following items were to be shown : — 
Investments, coal and coke, printing, and all items of 
over £10. 

On March 6th Mr. Fred. Brown was appointed assistant 
counterman, and he still serves the Society in the Central 
grocery department. Mr. Robert Wm. Hall was engaged 
on March 24th, and he worked in the office until his 
regretted death on August 26th, 1915, at the age of 
forty-three years. He was much esteemed by all his 

The first Quarterly Meeting held at Waterhouses was 
in March, and Mr. W. Heslop presided. For the first 
time, scrutineers for counting the votes for officers were 
appointed, and these were : — Messrs. G. Bowes, J. 
Pinkney, W. ElHs, G. Harrison, T. Pearson, and J. 
Young. The committee were empowered to erect a 
much-needed slaughter-house at Crook ; and it was also 
decided to become members of the Co-operative Whole- 
sale Society Limited. Appeals from Thornley and 
Wheatley Hill for assistance were refused, owing to so- 
many of our own members lacking employment. 

Our Society's History. 165 

In May there was some idea of launching out a little 
more in the departmental line at Howden-le-Wear, and 
this introduced the question which has often been 
raised : — " How long would the local coalfield last ?" 
The committee deputed Mr. Patterson to interview 
Mr. Lishman in the matter, namely, " as to the probable 
duration of the coalfield at Howden-le-Wear." Mr. 
Patterson reported — Mr. Lishman's opinion was " that 
the coalfield would soon be exhausted !" This settled 
the question of any extension at Howden, but we cannot 
help thinking that the exhaustion period has been a 
fairly lengthy one. Following this, the committee came 
to terms with Mr. T. A. Brown for the purchase of his 
land near the Crook railway station for £345, on which to 
build a slaughter-house, and the building of the latter 
was allotted to Mr. G. Lister and Sons, whose tender was 
£297 5s. Od. ; whilst subsequent additions cost £62 
13s. Od. 

In June the business of clock and watch repairs was 
started. For a time watches and clocks were sent to 
Magner Bros., Hull, and then Mr. Moses was appointed 
to do the work on the Store premises. 

A valuable stack of hay belonging to the Society was 
set on fire, and a reward of £20 was offered for informa- 
tion as to who had started the blaze. 

The foremen were allowed this year to take one week 
holiday ; other hands were granted four days. 

Ten thousand circulars were distributed around the 
district, advertising the rise and progress of the Society. 

On October 6th Mr. Abe Butterfield and Mr. James 
Scott were engaged. The latter was a son of Mr. John 
Scott, Wooley, and afterwards went to America, where 
he died. Mr. Butterfield rose to be a chief clerk and 
assistant to the secretary. His sudden death, in March, 
1907, was much lamented, for he was a clever and popular 
workman ; in addition he was a very smart athlete as a 
runner, cricketer, and footballer. 

166 Our Society's History. 

The new premises in Station Street, Waterhouses, 
were completed, and arrangements were made for an 
opening ceremony on October 30th. Charles Fenwick, 
Esq., M.P., and John Wilson, Esq., M.P., were invited 
to assist at the function, but both were unable to be 
present. The proceedings took the form of a Public 
Tea, Meeting, and a Concert, and the Waterhouses 
people did honour to the occasion by turning out e?i 
masse, for the event had been eagerly anticipated. 
Almost all the members, with their wives and families, 
were present at the Tea, which would have been a greater 
success had there been more eatables. The caterer, who 
hailed from Durham, had prepared for scores instead of 
for hundreds, and after the first sitting-down, the 
remainder fared but moderately ; in fact, there was no 
food left at all for the employees and others who assisted, 
and they were entertained to a feast a fortnight later. 
Nevertheless, the affair passed off enjoyably and with 
enthusiasm. At the Meeting and Concert, Mr. Henry 
Bowes, Mr. Thomas Binns, Mr. Ernest Foster, and Mr. 
Matthew Davison were among those who took a leading 
part. Not the least important of the items on the 
excellent programme was Mr, Davison's singing of his 
song, " Co-operation," in which, on his own favourite 
" fiddle," he was his own accompanist. Altogether it 
was a happy gathering, and will live long in the memory 
of those who were present to give encouragement to the 
local Store and the co-operative movement in general. 

In December the Society gave a guarantee of seven 
years, at the rate of £8 per year, towards the installation 
of a telegraph office at Waterhouses. The furniture 
instalment system was also introduced. £2 worth of 
goods was given towards an effort for providing dinners 
for poor children in the town. 

Miss Caisley was head of the Crook millinery depart- 
ment from 1883 to 1886, when she left to marry Mr. 
Edward Brougham. Miss Cockburn was appointed, and 
stayed until 1888. Her si.iccessor was Miss Laing. The 

Our Society's Hiatory. 167 

latter left in 1891, and Miss Gardiner, who took her 
place, only stayed a year. Miss Sayers and Miss Robson 
next held an equal position. The latter took full charge 
when Miss Saj^ers left in 1894. 

1887.— On January 12th, Mr. John Wilkin, South 
iShields, was appointed as the first managing butcher at 
Crook. Mr. F. Bennett was engaged as watchmaker. 

Much controversy had been occasioned over the 
" extras " in the erection of the new Stores at Water- 
houses, and Mr. Savage, architect, was called in to 
arbitrate. The builder, Mr. Walton, had received a sum 
of £2,800 ; and the matter finally ended by the arbitrator 
allowing in his favour another sum of £182 5s. lid. 

On February 14th Mr. John W. Turner and Mr. George 
Wilkinson were engaged. The former afterwards became 
managing butcher at Crook, and the latter was also, 
later, appointed to a similar position at Waterhouses. 

On April 6th Mr. Wm. Askew was engaged, and still 
remains with the Society at their Howden branch. 

The committee decided to nominate Mr. Burnip for 
the Bishop Auckland Board of Guardians, and he was 
successful at the ballot. This position he held for many 

This particular year was a black period for our neigh- 
bours resident in Northumberland, where the colliers were 
on strike. In almost every part of the coalfield in that 
county trade was stagnant, and poverty and sickness 
were common mates in hundreds of pit rows. Our 
Society made every effort in rendering some help to the 
sufferers. First of all, a recommendation was sent to 
the Co-operative Wholesale Society that a grant of £100 
be given out of the reserve to the Miners' fund ; then it 
was next decided to circularise our own members as to 
whether we should help, and to what extent. The 
members agreed by a majority to forward £100, of which 
eighty -five per cent, had to go to Union men and fifteen 
per cent, to non-unionists. This was in April ; and we 

168 Our Society's History. 

would have expected that, being able to contribute to 
their less fortunate fellows, would have been sufficient 
reason for an expression of thankfulness from even those 
who had been against the grant ; but the grumblers 
were not to be appeased. By July the matter had 
become so acute that, after declaring a dividend of 3s. in 
the £, it was decided to repay the sum of 16s. 8d. to ea9h 
of the members who objected to the grant having been 
made. When the August General Meeting was gathered, 
the chief topic naturally was the £100 grant ; and to 
guard against any trouble of a like character arising at 
any future time, it was finally agreed, on the motion of 
Mr. T. Parker :— 

" That all future subscriptions should be collected 
from individual members." 

In August the cabinet-making industry was started 
at the Central, and the secretary accompanied Mr. R. 
Thompson to York to buy timber. Mr. W. Gray 
resigned his seat on the committee to take up the work 
as cabinetmaker at log prices. Mr. Thomas Davison 
was appointed to the vacancy on the committee, and, 
shortly afterwards, Mr. Joseph Pedelty resigned his 
seat ; this was allotted to Mr. James Hacker. 

A peculiar form of investment might here be noted. 
This was the purchase of two pairs of tourist glasses — 
— "' The Gordon " — at a cost of 30s. These were loaned 
to members who required them, at a charge of threepence 
per day, or one shilling per week. Three thousand nine 
hundred almanacs — " The Gathering of the Clans " — 
were also bought this year. Overtures were made to the 
committee of the Mechanics' Institute, asking on what 
terms members of the Society might participate in the 
benefits of the Institute on Saturday nights. The terms 
not proving acceptable, the Quarterly Meetmg decided 
that the committee room should be utilised on Fridays 
and Saturdays until nine o'clock, for the purpose of 
reading the newspapers of the day. 


170 Our Society's History. 

In November the committee protested to the Bishop 
Auckland Society against their proposed opening of a 
branch at WiUington. 

£10 was given towards the road at Hamsteels, and £5 
towards the building of the Jubilee Bridge, near Todhills. 
£10 was also allotted towards making a road at Comsay. 

1888. — Evidence of the happy feehng existing between 
the committee and the employees was shown by a recom- 
mendation which was carried at the General Meeting, 
that a Tea should be given to the servants of the 
Society : — 

" In consideration of the confidence the com- 
mittee had in them." 
This Tea, with an Entertainment, was held on Easter 
Monday, and the whole affair was a satisfying and 
thoroughly enjoyable success. The arrangements were 
carried out by Mr. T. M. Graham, Mr. J. J. Pedelty, and 
Mr. T. Norman. Mr. John Scott presided, and one of 
the special items of the proceedings was Mr. M. Davison's 
singing of " Co-operation." 

The Mr. Norman mentioned above was a traveller in 
the service of the Society, and he afterwards took up a 
similar post with Messrs. Roberts, Mart and Co., Leeds, 
with whom he is still engaged. He married Miss Burnip, 
sister of Mr. William Burnip. 

The February General Meeting was enlivened by Mr. 
Matthew Davison, a well-known Waterhouses member, 
who sang two songs — characteristic of the man — 
entitled : " Co-operation " and " Noah's Ark." The 
former song so pleased the members present, that copies 
were ordered to be printed and one sent to every member 
of the Society. 

In April Mr. Henry Bowes was the recipient of a 
present from the committee, as a token of appreciation 
of his many efforts to ensure the success of the Society. 

On March 21st Mr. T. W. Seymour was engaged ; 
and on March 28th Mr. Alfred Horner, now manager at 
the Stanley branch, was appointed. 

Our Society's History. 171 

In May the employees were granted a half -day holiday 
every Wednesday ; this making a week of fifty-four 
working hours. 

Paperhanging was commenced ; the offer of Mr. John 
Sayers to do the work at fivepence per roll being accepted. 
On November 14th Mr. J. T. Nail was engaged. He 
afterwards — in 1904 — became manager of the Crook 
butchering department, a position he resigned in April 
of the present year. 

The General Meeting decided that no more almanacs 
had to be purchased without the sanction of the members, 
and thus an old custom became extinct. 

1889. — On April 24th Miss Hudson, the present man- 
ageress of the Howden drapery department, was engaged 
for the Central drapery department. 

Mr. Herbert W. Langstone commenced on June 5th, 
and, later, became managing butcher at Waterhouses, 
which position he held till the present year (1915), when 
he was transferred to the post of managing butcher at 
the Central Stores. 

Mr. J. R. Proud, who is now one of the Society's travel- 
lers, was engaged on August 3rd ; and Mr. George 
Middlemas was appointed on August 14th ; and after 
a long experience in the Central general office, he was 
recently given the post of cashier at Howden. 

By the end of the June half-year the membership 
passed the fourth thousand, reaching, in fact, a total of 
4,026, with a capital of £53,762 Is. 5d. to their credit. 
The Society's investments amounted to £22,103 17s. 3d., 
and were made up as follows : — £ s. d. 

Post Office 4317 1 2 

Backhouse & Co 2675 14 1 

North Eastern Railway 1862 

South Eastern Railway 2977 9 3 

London and Brighton Railway 3737 9 3 

Midland Railway 1300 

Anglo-American Telegraphs 2400 

Co-operative Wholesale Society .... 2782 12 3 
Derwent Mills and Co-op . News Society 5111 3 


Wfli. Pat I isdN, Hr)\vden-k-\Vt^;ir Bnots Mana-er. 34 Tears' SfVvirL-. 
Ja:>iks Uace, Warehnnseiiuin. Tno:irAs Fkvmh, Ciirlniaii, 

■2i\ Yv.n-i' Service. Howclen Brjincli. ;il Years' Serviei'. 

VV. Rk'Haudsun, JoiiniL'Niuaii Tailor. 'J,') Years' Service. 
J(UiN Na'ith vss, Joiinieyiiiaii 'I'ailor. Edwaiid J. Jkfi'kkv, Jonrneyiiiaii Tailor. 

•2~i Aral's' Sui viee. '2') Years' Service. 


GEoRiiK Wrangham, Central Grocery. 3-2 Yi-*;irs' Service. 
TinoiAs W. Skymotk, Grocer, 
Stanley Branch. 

WiLLiAJi Simpson, Crook Grocery, 
■II Years,' Service. 'M}j Years' Service. 

Fkedekick Brown, Crook Grocery. 29 Years' Service. 
Ji.HN n. PHOUD, Traveller, Central. Ciiaules Curl, Traveller, Central. 

'26 Years' Service. 

:jl Years' Service. 

174 Our Society's History. 

The October Quarterly Meeting sanctioned an estim- 
ated expenditure of £200 for new stables and a black- 
smith's shop at Waterhouses. This matter dragged 
considerably, owing to the inability of the committee 
to secure suitable land for the suggested erections. In 
the end it was agreed to alter the existing premises to 
meet the necessity. The old stables were added to the 
flour warehouse, and the cartman's house was converted 
into a stable, whilst the smithy was erected in the yard. 
The work was carried out by Mr. Jas. D. Carr, at a cost 
of £70. 

For the post of blacksmith — which may be termed an 
outside position — Mr. J. J. Dodds was appointed, and 
he still continues to do the work. 

1890. — On January 15th Mr. Christopher Rawe was 
appointed wagon-boy at Howden. He afterwards served 
at Crook, Waterhouses, and Howden. At the latter 
place, he became manager on Mr. Domville's retirement 
from the position. In April of the present year Mr. 
Rawe was the unanimous choice as general manager of 
the Society, in which position he gives every promise of 
ensuring the success of the Stores. 

In June Mr. Wm. Burnip reached a happy celebration 
of twenty-five years of married life ; and on June 11th 
it was decided by the committee : — 

" That we place on record our congratulations to 
the secretary on the celebration of his Silver Wed- 
ding, and also our appreciation of his services to the 
Society during the twenty-four years he has been 

£2 2s. Od. and £5 were given towards a road at Hedley 
Hill ; and £20 was paid to Mr. J. Gill for land, to widen 
the back road into Hope Street. 

1891. — Commencing in January the Society lost a 
valuable member of the committee through the death 
of Mr. T. Dunn, Peases West. The vacancy was filled 
by Mr. J. M. Allison, for many years a cashier at the 
Bankfoot offices. 

Our Society's History. lib 

In February it was decided that the large hall in the 
Waterhouses store should be let no more for concerts 
after existing contracts were closed, but that it should 
be made into a room for the sale of furniture. 

On February 18th Mr. Mark Proudfoot was engaged 
as wagon-man. He is still in the service of the Society 
as flour warehouseman at Crook. 

In March the agreement with Mr. Mazzucchi for the 
cleaning of the clock was terminated. An appeal from 
the employees for a subscription towards a cricket club 
which they were commencing resulted in £2 being 
granted. In April, Mr. Boothroyd, the tailoring cutter, 
gave in his notice, and Mr. Wm. Downie was given the 

The May Quarterly Meeting agreed to an expenditvire 
of £300 on additions to the Central grocery and drapery 
departments. Mr. Wm. Heslop prepared plans and 
specifications, and, in a very short time, the work was in 
the hands of the contractor. The result was the present 
commodious provision shop and the convenient carpet 
and oilcloth room. 

It was decided that the only general holidays recog- 
nised by the Society should be Christmas Day, Good 
Friday, Easter Monday, and Whit Monday. 

On May 27th Miss M. Dunn was engaged for the 
Crook drapery — a department in which she is still a very 
useful and appreciated worker. 

The Society again made considerable investments in 
various railway stocks ; but, notwithstanding the money 
these purchases absorbed, there remained an amount of 
cash on hand which was not bringing in a very remunera- 
tive return. The Society's bankers were then Messrs. 
Backhouse and Co., and, following an arrangement with 
them for a certain portion to remain on deposit, the 
committee considered ways and means of making further 
investments. An apparently promising solution was 
the building of houses in the district ; and the committee, 

176 Our Society's History. 

on appealing to the General Meeting, were allowed £1,000 
for the purpose of their intentions. The first choice for 
a suitable building site fell on the Milburn Street district. 
This came to nothing. Then Mr. Heslop was instructed 
to prepare plans and specifications for three houses in 
Grey Street, and procure tenders for the erection of the 
same. In the end, however, the matter was ruled off 
the board ; the strike, which was threatening, and which 
did come very quickly afterwards, perhaps having a 
big bearing on the decision. 

This half-year was -a very memorable one for the 
Society. Year following year had seen great increases in 
the sales, and in this particular period the sum reached 
was £122,189 18s. 5d., which was the highest on record. 

In the following halt-year came the never-to-be- 
forgotten strike amongst the Durham miners. The 
distress, so noticeable in the 1879 strike, was, however, 
not very prevalent — thanks largely to the Co-operative 
Stores in the county, which were financed by the savings 
of the miners and of the other working classes. Many a 
prayer of thankfulness was heard that, by being members 
of the Stores, money had been saved, which enabled the 
crisis to be more happily faced. 

Chapter XU. 


IN February an appeal from the employees for a 
forty-eight hours working week was granted, 
and this resulted in a change in the hours of 
opening and closing. The most notable alteration was 
the opening hour, which was changed from 8 a.m. to 
8.30 a.m. 

In March came the pitmen's strike, and a decrease 
in the sale of goods was soon felt, which necessitated the 
employees being put on short time ; in most cases a day 
off every week being the rale. The position was further 
met by the employees taking their holidays, instead of 
waiting until the summer period. Considering the 
circumstances, it spoke well for the credit of the town 
and district that the withdrawals of share capital were 
by no means extraordinary. In a few cases, members 
were temporarily financially enibarrassed, and the 
Quarterly Meeting generously came to their assistance 
by deciding that members in necessity should be allowed 
to overdraw their share money. By such actions do we 
more fully realise the value and solidarity of Co-opera- 
tion. The outlook may have been black, j^et this did 
not hinder the Society from progress, for, notwithstand- 
ing some previous opposition, which for a time had 
prevailed, it was decided to erect a slaughter-house at 
Waterhouses immediately. But this decision was chal- 
lenged, and, at a special meeting, the opposition were 
successful on the motion of Mr. Cowell, seconded by Mr. 
Rudd, Howden-le-Wear. At the Half-yearly Meeting 
a ballot of the members was demanded, and this ended 
in favour of the erection of a slaughter-house. 

178 Our Society's History. 

In July Mr. Downie's connection with the Societ}', 
as tailoring cutter, ceased, and Mr. George Lyall, Dar- 
lington, was given the position. The latter proved a 
popular appointment, and he served the committee and 
members faithfully till his death in December, 1910. 

October 19th. — The meeting on this day was the last 
presided over by Mr. Thomas Ashbridge, whose illness 
lasted till May, 1893, when death claimed one who had 
been one of the Society's ablest presidents. An honest 
man, whose every movement was of an open character, 
Mr. Ashbridge was a faithful officer of the Society, and 
he was the recipient more than once of a eulogy from his 
fellow-members on the committee for his straightforward 
and impartial dealing. 

1893. — For the erection of the slaughter-house at 
Waterhouses, a site, containing three hundred and fifty- 
eight square yards of land, was secured from Viscount 
Boyne on a ninety-nine years lease, at £2 19s. 8d. 
ground rent per annum. Mr. Wm. Heslop prepared the 
plans and specifications. The building was commenced 
with in the early part of 1893 by Mr. Thomas Hilton, 
contractor. Bishop Auckland, whose tender was £703. 
In September the premises were ready, and business was 
commenced ; Mr. George Parkinson being appointed as 
working foreman butcher. 

In the first part of this year the Society took a very 
active part in the promotion of the new road to Howden 
and Witton Park. 

In October there were further extensions to the ware- 
house at Crook, carried out by Mr. T. Walton, for £200 ; 
he also added a sale shop at the slaughter-house, at a 
cost of £77. 

In November there were alterations made at Howden- 
le-Wear, the work being carried out by Mr. J. Hare, at a 
cost of £115. 

Mr. John Wilkin, as managing butcher, severed his 
connection with the Society. In his place Mr. Harry 
Turner was appointed as a foreman working butcher. 


\V. AitTHtit Smith, F.C A., 

Chartered Accountant, 

Soutli Shields, 

Professional Auditor to the Society, 

1895 to 1915. 

180 Our Society's History. 

In September of the following year Mr. Turner left, to 
take over the butcher manager's position at Chester-le- 
Street, and his brother, Mr. John W. Turner, was elected 
to the position. The latter was a capable man, and was 
always popular with customers. His death, in April, 
1904, was sincerely regretted. 

Miss Hott was head milliner at Waterhouses from 
1894 to 1898. 

1894. — In April Mr. Earnshaw, the respected manager 
of the Waterhouses drapery department, died ; and, 
on May 9th, Mr. John Potts, Tynemouth, was given the 

A Special General Meeting was held on May 26th, with 
regard to the number of members forming the committee. 
There was a feeling amongst those present that seven 
was a large enough body to manage the affairs of the 
Society. The president — Mr. T. Pearson, Waterhouses 
— ruled that anything less than twelve was out of order, 
so the matter was dropped. 

In July the Society suffered a distinct loss through 
the death of Mr. Wm. Heslop, Peases West, who had 
long been a valuable asset by reason of his assistance in 
all matters relating to the erection of buildings, etc. 

The business of dressmaking at the Central, which had 
never fairly met with any success worth mentioning, 
was in this half-year discontimied. 

£2,000 was invested in the Co-operative Wholesale 
Society ; and a public auditor — Mr. Thomas Bradley, 
Stockton-on-Tees — was appointed to audit the books 
and accounts of the Society, at a fee of £20. Mr. Potts, 
of Waterhouses, was also appointed as a lay auditor. 
This, the Society's first effort at having a public audit, 
did not take place, as Mr. Bradley was not in the end 
able to take up the duties ; in consequence, Mr. Aaron 
Wharton assisted Mr. Potts in the work. 

1895. — The question of a public auditor was again 
raised at the General Meeting, and subsequently, on 

Our Society's History. 181 

May 1st, Mr. William Arthur Smith, F.C.A., South 
Shields, was appointed. Mr. Smith's ability at once met 
with general recognition, and he still continues to be 
the Society's auditor. 

At a Special General Meeting in March there was a 
wholesale revision of the Rules. One Rule introduced 
was, " That not more than one member of a family could 
be engaged ; and an employee may have the same 
privilege of having one member of his family employed, 
but not in the same department." A proposed Rule, 
" that money may be advanced on property, both real 
and personal," was not accepted. The changes also 
permitted the holding of genera! and half-yearly meet- 
ings at Waterhouses. Arising out of this, the first 
half-yearly meeting at Waterhouses was held in the 
following August. 

In July the question of holidays to the em.ployees was 
discussed, and they were granted one week to each full- 
time worker, and eight days to each foreman. 

£20 was given to the building of a house at Cullercoats, 
for the holding of " Co-operator No. 1 " lifeboat. 

At the August General Meeting Mr. Smith, auditor, 
presented his first balance sheet, and he had a most 
hearty and encouraging reception. 

In September Mr. Thomas Pearson, Tow. Law, resigned 
his place on the committee, and Mr. John Turnbull, Tow 
Law, filled the vacancy. 

1896. — At Waterhouses, in April, a tailoring bespoke 
department was commenced. Mr. Thomas Carr, Dipton, 
was the first appointment as working cutter. In this 
same month there occurred at Brancepeth Colliery a most 
dreadful disaster. At the May Quarterly Meeting the 
president — Mr. George Watson — made reference in feel- 
ing terms to the calamity. This was followed by a 
unanimous vote of £50 to the Relief Fund. Mr. James 
Henderson at the same meeting voiced a motion that 
Rule 7 be altered, so that members could only hold £100 
capital, instead of £200, which had hitherto been allowed . 


■^ o 



s ^e 

•^ a^ 

3 8"= 

184 Our Society's History. 

The members, however, were fairly unanimous in their 
vote against such a suggestion. It was, however, agreed 
that the interest on capital should be reduced from 
five per cent, to four per cent, per annum. 

The committee recommended that delegates should 
be sent as representatives to the forthcoming Congress 
gathering at Woolwich, but the members decided 
against it. 

Mr. George Lee, who commenced with the Society 
in 1880, was appointed foreman of the Central ready- 
niades department in June. This position he held until 
he met with a tragic death in 1911, when he was killed 
by a train near the Foundry Fields Crossing. 

Miss RowUnson, who had been with the Society for 
some time in the Waterhouses millinery department, 
was given the position as manageress when Miss Hott 
left. Miss Rowlinson held the position till 1903. 

The Quarterly Meetings in November were notable for 
the presentation to Mr. W. Burnip of a handsome testi- 
monial, which 'had been subscribed to by all members 
of the Society, as a token of esteem, and as a recognition 
of the valuable services he had rendered to the Society 
for thirty years. At Waterhouses Mr. Thomas Pear- 
son, J. P., made the presentation ; and, at the Crook 
meeting, Mr. Wm. R. Heslop performed a similar duty. 
Both gentlemen spoke in the most felicitous terms of the 
recipient. Other speakers were : — Mr. Potts, Mr. Turn- 
bull, Mr. Binns, Mr. G. Smith, Mr. Beadmore, Mr. R. 
Young, Mr. T. Auton, Mr. T. Pedelty, and Mr. J. Gilhland 
A special poem, dedicated to the occasion, by Mr. 
Beadmore, Waterhouses, was also read, and met with 
hearty appreciation. The presentation consisted of an 
illuminated address, beautifully designed and executed 
by Mr. F. Parker, White House, Howden-le-Wear ; a 
solid silver tray and tea and coffee service, all suitably 
engraved ; a gold albert ; also a gold watch and lockets 
to Mrs. Burnip. A handsome walking-stick was also 
an individual present to Mr. Burnip from Mr. D. Logan, 


:\Irs^. WfLJ.TAM 

186 Our Society's History. 

Waterhouses. Mr. Burnip voiced his thanks in a most 
appropriate manner, and made a brief survey of his 
thirty years' connection with the Society. This memor- 
able occasion closed with a vote of thanks to the com- 
mittee, on the motion of Mr. T. Binns, Waterhouses : — 
" For their prompt and effectual dealing with the 

presentation in bringing it to such a successful 


The wording of the illuminated address was as follows : — 

" Dpjab Sir, — At the yearly meeting, held August 8th, 1896, the 
members of the Crook and Neighbourhood Co-operative Society 
resolved to present you with a testimonial as a mark of their 
esteem and regard for you on the completion of your thirtieth 
year as secretary and general manager of their Society. When 
the Store was formed in 1865, the membership was 130"; capital, 
£200 ; and the turnover for the first year, £4,500. Now the 
membership, including the branches at Waterhouses and Howden- 
le-Wear, is 4,960 ; capital, £101,432 ; and the annual turnover, 

" We believe this prosperity is due largely to the conspicuous 
ability you have shown as manager, — your knowledge, not only 
of the general principles of business, but what contributes so much 
to the stability and prosperity of an establishment, of its details — 
your masterly grip of every department ; nor can we omit to 
mention your high moral character, your sterling integrity, your 
open candour, your scrupulous honesty, and your thorough impar- 

" We wish, by this testimonial, to give to your descendants a 
lasting proof of our sense of the large share you have had in 
building up an institution which has done so much in fostering 
self-respect, thrift, and good brotherhood amongst the working 
classes, and also to strengthen the bonds of existing friendship. 
" We, therefore, beg you may be long spared to hold the office 
you have filled with credit to yourself and satisfaction to us. 
" Signed on behalf of the members. 
Committee : 






President : W. R. HESLOP. 
"November Uth, 1896." 

Our Society's History. 187 

In December the committee, on behalf of the Society, 
made an attempt at a much bolder form of investment 
than hitherto. This was in the form of the purchase of 
Thistleflat Farm, which stands in a fine picturesque 
situation near Woodifield Road. Their offer, however, 
of £4,000 to the owner, the Bishop of Hexham and 
Newcastle, was not accepted. 

1897. — In January it was decided that in future all 
apprentices engaged, on reaching 14s. per week, must 
apply for re-engagement. 

The Howden and Waterhouses branches' half -day 
holiday was changed in March, when Wednesday after- 
noon one week and Saturday afternoon on the baff week 
was granted. This remained the order of things until 
the weekly pays amongst the miners necessitated a 
reversion to the old method. 

At the Quarterly Meeting in May, an appeal for a 
branch at Ushaw Moor failed to receive the sanction of 
the members. 

Mr. G. Parkinson, foreman butcher at Waterhouses, 
left the service of the Society, and his place was allotted 
to Mr. George Wilkinson, from the Central shop. 

£20 was sent as a grant to the assistance of the Rainton 

At the Central premises a hoist was erected at a cost 
of £120. This " pit shaft," as it often was called, was 
anything but a success, and in 1914 it was dismantled. 
The system of buying goods under the supervision of 
the committee, which had often been challenged, was 
again considered ; and, in the end, the following (Rule 
24a) was agreed on : — 

" The general committee of management shall, 
along with the general manager and manager of each 
department, make all purchases relative thereto, 
and arrange and fix the prices to be paid and charged 
for the same. The manager of each department 
shall be responsible for the working of his or her 
department to the committee of management and 
the general manager." 

^ 3 

en E 

X' > 

C-. ■ 

'^ ft k' 

190 Ouj- Society's History. 

This method continued till 1909, when it was 
decided :-7- 

" The foremen and managers shall buy, under the 
supervision of the general manager." 

1898. — Mr. F. Scales, a well-known assistant in the 
Central grocery department, with twelve years' service 
to his credit, died in January. 

At Waterhouses, in place of Mr. T. Carr, cutter, Mr. 
Beattie was appointed ; whilst, at Crook, Miss Robson, 
head milliner, left the service of the Society. Miss E. 
Coates, who commenced in the department in 1893, was 
appointed to the vacant position as manageress. In 
April Miss Fulton, who had been manageress of the 
Howden drapery department, left, and Miss Hudson 
went from Crook to the branch. 

The Waterhouses premises up to this period had been 
lighted by oil lamps. A big improvement was now made 
by the introduction of acetylene gas ; Mr. J. J. Spoor, 
Bishop Auckland, carrying out the work for £250. 

At the May Quarterly Meeting Mr. Edward Cook, 
Waterhouses, proposed : — 

" That in the opinion of this meeting the time 
has now arrived when we, as a Co-operative Society, 
ought to purchase at least half of its goods from the 
various Productive and Wholesale Distributive 
Co-operative Societies." 
The motion was voted against. 

Mr. J. G. Johnson resigned his position as boot mana- 
ger at Waterhouses, and Mr. John W. Stoker was 
appointed from the Crook shop. Mr. George Nelson, 
Sunniside, left the committee, and his place was allotted 
to Mr. John Keogan. 

In October Mr. John Parkinson, Waterhouses, died. 
He had been with the Society almost from the opening 
day, and his death was deeply regretted. His services 
had been of great value, and with the members he had 
ever been one of the most popular of the Society's 

Our Society's History. 191 

servants. To the vacant position of manager, Mr. 
George Parkinson was appointed. 

1899. — £20 was sent to the Wigton Society to help 
them in their trouble. 

On April 5th Mr. Robert Harvey Hall, Bishop Auck- 
land, was appointed as a working cutter at the Water- 
houses branch. 

In November it was decided to advance money to 
members at four per cent., on good security ; and, on 
January 3rd, 1900, the first sum of £100 was advanced. 

At the November meeting circulars were read from 
the Low Beechburn and Stanley Colliery Miners' Lodges, 
petitioning the committee to build suitable cottages for 
workmen, in order to relieve the overcrowding of houses. 

The question of better stable and warehouse accom- 
modation at the Howden branch had for some months 
occupied the attention of the board, and finally a lease 
of land was obtained from Mr. Shafto, and the present 
buildings and other alterations were introduced, at a 
cost of £496 2s. 7d. 

Mr. John W. Stoker, Waterhouses, died in April ; and, 
on the same day as he was interred, Mr. G. W. Burnip 
was also buried. Mr. Robert Thompson, the well-known 
manager of the Central Furniture department, was 
present at each of the funeral services, and he, also, died 
a fortnight later, having caught a cold while attending 
the interment of his fellow- workers. Mr. George Lee 
was appointed to the vacancy at Waterhouses, whilst 
the managership of the Crook furniture department was 
given to Mr. Henry Tweddle. 

The Society's period of stock-taking was changed 
from January 1st and July 1st, to take place three weeks 
earlier in each half-year. 

At the November meeting Mr. T. Pedelty's thirty -five 
years' work as treasurer was fittingly recognised by a 
gift from the members, in the shape of an illuminated 

192 Our Society's History. 

address. The presentation was made by Mr. George 
Watson, who voiced the feelings of all the members when 
he referred to the long and untiring effort Mr. Pedelty 
had made in order to ensure the success of the Society. 
A handsome gold watch was also handed to Mrs. Pedelty. 

A grant of £20 was made to the Indian Famine Fund. 
1901. — Mr. Thomas Dale, a well-known employee, 
died in January. 

£5,734 Is. 8d., which the Society held in the Post 
Office Bank, was withdrawn, and re-invested in the loan 
stock of the Co-operative Wholesale Society Limited. 

The office accommodation at the Central premises had 
long been found wanting, and in the summer months 
steps were taken to improve on the old arrangements. 
Mr. Taylor, architect, Newcastle, drew up plans and 
specifications for the cash office, general office, and a 
necessitated re-arrangement of the outbuildings, and the 
work was finally done by Mr. William Machell at a cost 
of £318 10s. Od. 

In this half-year the sales totalled £133,173 Os. 8d. 
This is the highest record in the fifty years of the Society. 
Why subsequent periods showed a decrease, provides a 
question difficult to answer ; but probably greater 
competition, more especially from the multiple shops 
which have sprung up, is responsible, to a large extent, 
for the reduced sales. 

The August General Meeting passed a resolution that 
" dwelling-houses should be erected at Waterhouses." 

A motion by Mr. Tallintyre, that a branch shop be 
opened at East Hedley Hope, was not successful. 

Chapter XIII. 


^_| "T the February General Meeting the chief tojiic of 
(v/*-^ interest centred round the discussion, on the 
recommendation of the committee, that £3,000 
to £5,000 should be set aside for the carrying out of a 
house-building scheme. Speaking on behalf of the com- 
mittee, Mr. James Leonard and Mr. Thomas Pearson 
\'oiced the suggestions that thirteen houses be built in 
Cemetery Lane, Crook, on land belonging to Mr. Wm. 
Lister, at a cost of £205 to £215 each ; and that eleven 
houses in course of erection at Ushaw Moor be purchased. 
The idea met with the hearty approval of the members, 
who empowered the committee to proceed with the 
scheme. Negotiations were commenced with Mr. 
Thomas Walton, Crook, regarding the houses at Ushaw 
Moor, and the Society became the owners at a price of 
£2,310. The houses are now let to tenants at 5s. 6d. per 

The carrying out of the scheme for the houses at Crook 
was a somewhat lengthy process before definite progress 
could be reported. The idea of purchasing Mr. Lister's 
land was dropped, and negotiations were begun with 
Mr. Walton for his land in Wheatbottom — just above 
Blades' Farm. In June it was finally agreed to buy 
3,161 square yards at a cost of 3s. per square yard ; the 
total sum paid bemg £474 3s. Od. This land was in 
the front ; and, in the following August, the land at the 
back was bought at 2s. 6d. per square yard. The last 
purchase comprised 6,973 square yards ; total cost, 
£871 12s. 6d. 


194 Our Society's History. 

Mr. Thomas Raine, Peases West, prepared the plans 
and specifications for fifteen houses, and Mr. William 
Lister's tender of £3,165, or £211 per house, was 
accepted. The houses are all very roomy, and the 
Society, when they owned them, charged a rent of 6s. 
per week. The purchase price to members was fixed at 
£250, and the last one was sold in 1912. The land at the 
back is still owned by the Society. 

In February, Mr. W. Pairman was appointedjwatch- 
maker in place of Mr. F. Bennett. 

The May Quarterly Meeting was notable for the 
following motion being carried unanimously : — 

" That we, as a Society, protest against the taxes 
imposed by the Government upon the working 
classes ; and, also, we protest -against the Educa- 
tional measure as a retrograde step in the abolition 
of School Boards, and in which the working classes 
are denied of popular control and their rights 

£50 was given towards the expense of making the 
Howden New Road and the bridge near Witton Junc- 

1903. — In February the Society invested £2,000 in the 
North Bitchburn Coal Company. 

As summer approached it was noticed that Mr. Burnip 
was much in need of rest ; and, at the August meeting, 
the committee's report — that they had recommended a* 
long holiday to the secretary — was heartily endorsed 
by the members. 

£10 was voted towards a new bridge at Ushaw Moor. 

The August Bank Holiday was at this period becoming 
more generally recognised by tradespeople, as well as at 
the local works and colheries. The Store employees had 
been granted a half -day on one or two of these occasions, 
but it was now agreed that — commencing 1904 — the 
holiday should be observed, and the Stores closed for the 
whole day. 

^ 6 i 

196 Our Society's History. 

1904.— Mr. T. Simpson left the Society in April, as 
their branch manager at Howden-le-Wea'r, and he was 
succeeded by Mr. Domville. Mr. J. W. Turner, manag- 
ing butcher, died in this same month, and Mr. J. T. Nail 
was appointed to the position. 

At the November Quarterly Meeting Mr. Wm. Trotter, 
Howden, — a well-known member, and whose death 
during the present year (1915) was much regretted — 
made a strong appeal for a motion to be carried : — 
" That the selling prices should be reduced by at least 
fifteen per cent, on all goods sold by the Society." The 
matter was, however, ruled out of order. Suggestions 
were given to curtail expenses, by the employees being 
laid off an occasional day every alternate week, and by 
other methods ; but Mr. John White " urged a cheerful 

1905. — Beginning 1905, the chief item was an agita- 
tion for a more central and more convenient butchers' 
shop at Crook. The question was brought before the 
notice of the February Meeting, and it was eventually 
decided to take a ballot of the whole of the members 
regarding the purchase of Mr. J. R. Hodgson's property 
in Hope Street, the total cost of which, after valuation, 
had not to exceed £1,325. The ballot went against the 
scheme by 2,767 votes to 868 for. The matter of a 
central place was not again raised until nearly three 
years later. 

Trade becoming depressed, the suggestion to reduce 
expenses by the employees each lying idle one day per 
fortnight was introduced ; though, in the end, the 
workers suffered a reduction of two-and-a-half per cent. 
in wages, in order to work full time. 

Mr. John Middlemas, a member of the committee, 
who was very popular as an overman at the Wooley 
Colliery, died in February. The vacancy on the board 
was filled by Mr. John Jobson. 

In May the General Meeting decided that the divi- 
dends in future should be paid by the clerical staff on the 

Our Society's Historij. 197 

premises. Previously this work had always been per- 
formed by the committee in the Mechanics' Hall, which 
was engaged for this special purpose. Very large 
crowds gathered in the big room, for dividend day was 
apparently more of a red-letter day than is now the 

Mr. John Stephenson, Ushaw Moor, brought a motion 
before the meeting, advocating the starting of a branch 
store at Ushaw Moor. It was decided to ballot the 
members on this motion, which resulted in 1,531 voting 
for the branch, whilst 1,969 were against it. 

In this half-year the greengrocery business was intro- 
duced. After it had worked for some time under 
difficult conditions, so far as accommodation was con- 
cerned, a scheme was drafted and laid before a Special 
General Meeting in July. The committee asked for a 
grant of £3,000, to purchase land in the rear of the 
warehouse, on which to erect a suitable depot for green- 
groceries and up-to-date and more commodious stables, 
with harness-room and other outbuildings attached. 
To this the members agreed ; and the land, on which 
some old property stood, was bought from the late Mr. 
John Bell, Relieving Officer, for the sum of £500. The 
site contained 406| square yards. Originally, as a field, 
it had cost, in 1872, the sum of £36, or Is. 9d. per square 
yard. Mr. F. Livesey, Bishop Auckland, was appointed 
architect, and, following the approval of his plans and 
specifications, the tender of Messrs. Wright and Freeman, 
Newcastle-on-Tyne, was accepted at £2,176 10s. Od. ; 
the work to be completed by May, 1906. Then occurred 
a rather remarkable thing. The contractors had evid- 
ently made some miscalculation in their tender, for the 
matter had to receive the re-consideration of the com- 
mittee. A meeting was arranged, and the tender was 
cancelled ; the contractors agreeing to pay a forfeit of 
£70. This was followed by the acceptance of Mr. T. 
Walton's tender to do the work at a cost of £2,449 16s. 
6d., and he was allowed up to July 16th, 1906, to com- 
plete the work. When it was finally finished, the new 

198 Oitr Societii's History. 

erectionsjproved a valuable addition to the Society's 

Towards the end of the year there was some idea of 
taking a look-up shop at Esh Winning, for the purpose 
of a branch, but this fell through. A similar fate also 
befel an idea of selling part of the land at Wheatbottom 
to the Wesleyan Church for the erection of a Mission 
Chape] . 

1906. — Early on in this year Mr. Burnip failed rapidly 
in his health, and signs were not difficult to see that soon 
the Society would lose its invaluable head. A sad 
coincidence, also, was the fact that Mr. T. Pedelty was 
nearing the end of his life's journey ; his death eventually 
happening on July 4th. Thus ended a period of forty- 
two years' splendid service. Just previously it had been 
decided to do away with the post of treasurer, the secre- 
tary having to bank all moneys himself with Messrs. 
Barclay and C'o., who were thus made nominal treasurers 
to the Society. 

On July 25th came the second hard blow of the year, 
Mr. Burnip died. Regret was everywhere widespread, 
for all recognised that by his decease one had gone 
who was not only an asset of the Society — the district 
had also lost a valuable man, who had done useful work in 
many ways, and had rendered great assistance in public 
life and to his fellow-men. His funeral, on July 28th, 
was attended by a large gathering, comprising aU classes 
of the community. It was a fitting tribute to a great 
man, who had spared not himself for the benefit of 

A successor to Mr. Burnip was not immediately 
decided on. Some years previously an idea of dividing 
the offices of manager and secretary had been aired, but 
did not find favour. Those who were of the opinion that 
separate appointments should be made thought that a 
favourable opportunity had now arisen, and, at a special 
meeting in September, it was agreed to ballot the mem- 
bers as to their feelings in the matter. By 1,903 to 1,422 
votes, it was decided that two appointments should be 

Our Society's History. 199 

made. Mr. John Lowther was, a few months later — on 
January 30th, 1907 — appointed general manager ; but 
the secretarial office, being then an appointment in the 
hands of the members, was not definitely filled until 
August, 1907, when Mr. Thomas Burnip, brother of Mr. 
W. Burnip, who was head cashier, and had all along been 
acting as secretary fro tern., was selected unanimously. 
A revision of the Rules afterwards placed the appoint- 
ment of the secretary in the hands of the committee. 

At the August General Meeting votes of sympathy 
were passed with the families of the late secretary and 
the late treasurer. 

Mr. Stephenson, Ushaw Moor, on behalf of the com- 
mittee advocated the starting of branches at Tow Law or 
Sunniside, Stanley, Willington, and Ushaw Moor. This 
recommendation was agreed to. At the same meeting 
Mr. Thomas Bell, Wooley, presented a carefully-detailed 
scheme, advising the purchase of a motor wagon, and 
this also was sanctioned. 

In the middle of August Mr. Thomas Richardson, 
Central boot manager, died. He was succeeded by Mr. 
George Brabban, an employee who had commenced with 
the Society in September, 1892. 

For the purposes of branch shops, one of the Society's 
houses at Ushaw Moor was utilised ; and, at Stanley, 
premises were rented from Mr. T. Grinling. The latter 
shop proved somewhat inadequate, and, later, a move 
was made into a shop owned by Mr. Wm. Hunter. 
Both branches were started in October. Mr. Robert 
Robinson was placed in charge of the Stanley branch, 
while Mr. Charles Smith was given the other appoint- 
ment at Ushaw Moor. 

At the November Quarterly Meeting Mr. James 
Hacker and Mr. William Dickinson were mover and 
seconder of a motion, which was carried : — 

" That this meeting recommend the committee 
to purchase to the extent of seventy -five per cent, 
from the Co-operative Wholesale Society." 

1 |;««SiMlS3iffi!e8%fi£»^w « { V!^'3SeS!i 

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WiiT.TAM MnsKs, Hourleii-le-We ir Bv.mrh 
H. W. I"jAN(.st()Nf.:, 
CL-ntval Butchering, lili Vfiir^' Service. 

"\VlT,IJA^[ SlII'.VKLS, 

Waterhouses Butehering 

Au-KKD HoiiNEU, Staiiley 

^7 Years' Sei-vice. 

T. P. Cairns, Sunniside. 

1^ Years' Service. 

];P,AXCH jrAXAdEliS. 

E. Pk 

ON, Uhhaw Mdor. 

2'2 Years' Service. 

Georiie Smith, Willington. 

13 Years' Service. 

20i Our Society's History. 

A branch shop at Sunniside commenced in December, 
in premises rented from Mr. J. Stevens. Mr. John 
Thompson, from the Central provision department, ^\'as 
placed in control. 

1907. — At the Half-yearly Meeting the question was 
again raised relative to the purchasing of at least seventy- 
five per cent, from the Co-operative Wholesale Society 
Mr. James Hacker proposed that this be done, but the 
motion this time did not carry. The meeting also dis- 
cussed the allowance to be made to any employee 
happening an accident whilst engaged on the Society's 
work, and it was agreed that half wages be paid 
pending the introduction of the Compensation Act, 
which came into force in the following July. 

On March 30th Mr. A. Butterfield, who was accountant 
and assistant to the secretary, died very suddenly. The 
vacancy was allotted to Mr. Edward Lloyd, who first 
started with the Society on December 21st, 1891. 

At Waterhouses, Mr. George Wilkinson, managing 
butcher, died, after a long illness, and he was succeeded 
by Mr. H. W. Langstone. In May, at Waterhouses, 
the Society also lost a valued boot manager in Mr. 
George Lee. The new appointment to this position was 
given to Mr. George Jackson, who had been with the 
Society from 1899. 

At Crook, the inconvenience of the slaughter-house 
shop for the sale of meat was again brought to the notice 
of the board. Perhaps the fact that the manager's 
house was unoccupied had some influence on the move- 
ment, for, in the end, it was decided to armex the front 
room and convert it into a butcher's sale shop. The 
i>lans were prepared by Mr. Thomas Ellison, Crook ; 
and Mr. Wm. Lax's tender of £60 was accepted for the 
necessary alterations. 

In May Mr. T. HiU, a well-known schoolmaster at 
Waterhouses, secured an improved position at Horden. 
He was succeeded on the committee by Mr. John Sillett 

Ow Society's History. 205 

At Wheatbottom, the land in front of the houses built 
by the Society was offered to the County Council as an 
addition to the existing road, on condition that the 
Society were exempt from any further expense. 

In June Mr. Tom Auton, who had been president of 
the Society in 1897, met with his death — the result of a 
cycling accident near the Parish Church. A vote of 
sympathy was forwarded to his widow and family. 

Mr. R. W. Hall, who had succeeded Mr. Henderson 
as warehouseman at Crook in 1901, left in August, Mr. 
Wm. Moses being appointed to the position. The 
foremen were granted ten days holiday annually. Full- 
time employees were allowed a week, and apprentices 
four days. 

The Society secured a five years lease from Mr. Elliott 
of his premises at Willington, where a branch was opened 
in December. Mr. Chas. Smith was drafted from Ushaw 
Moor to take charge ; and, at the latter shop, Mr. Ralph 
Pearson was appointed. 

The committee met a deputation from the employees' 
union (branch of the A.U.C.E.), relative to wages, and 
finally they agreed to the following : — 

"That the list of wages prepared be accepted on the 
following conditions : — The employees to receive a 
1} per cent, in the 5 per cent, the county miners get, 
and no reduction to take effect after the employees 
lose the 1| per cent, again until the county rate is 
down to 30 per cent, below the present wages, and 
then no advance to be given until the county rate 
rises again to 47| per cent." 

1908. — In January Mr. Wylam Richardson, who had 
been a traveller for many years, was appointed to the 
Central cash office. Mr. William Leighton was engaged 
to take charge of the watchmaking and jewellery 

The May Quarterly Meeting agreed to additions being 
made to the stables at Waterhouses, and these were 

GicoROK Henry Walton, Grouevy, -22 Yeavs' StTvice. 
TIi':NifV TwETDLE, Furiiiture and Gi-xutiiK BuABiiAX, Boots. 

Hardware. ii2 Years" Service. '2S Years' Service. 

II. H. Hall, Tailoring Cutter. Norman Pearson, Ready-madu 

16.J Years' Service. Clothing. 15 Years' Service. 


R. W. Wilkinson, Drapery. 

3Iatthew Gibbon, Fuvniture. W. C. S.auth, <.lrooery. 

"25 Years' Service. -1^ Yearb' Service, 

Geor(.;e Jackson, Boots. John Stephenson, Tailoring 

l;j Years' Service. 11) Years' Service. 

JIiSS I 'in 

ntial Milln 
Misv J.vci 

, l\r;i]i;ii,'erL's 
. -'l ^■ea^^' 

, Man;iL;i.-re^ 
s llilliiiL-ry. 

Miss HmsoN, Manageress, 
Hmvden Drapery. 20 Years' Servn 

Miss l:uNN, Crook Drapery. 
•l'> Years' Seryiee. 

William Leightox, 
.T<_-\\-ellery Manager, Cenlral. 

.JiiIIN WniTl-lKLIi, 

Old Jliiiployfe, i'i ^"e;l^s' Hervice. 

'J'homas Rowe, 
(ii'G' n':;rocery Manager. 


Hoot Repairer, 'id Vearw' Service. 

210 Our Society's History. 

carried out by Mr. T. Walton, Crook, at a cost ol £96. 
A branch was also suggested for Ferryhill ; but this, so 
far, has not been introduced. With reference to branches, 
it is interesting to note that the late Mr. Wm. Burnip 
was not a great lover of the introduction of these shops. 
He always held to the opinion that the existing stores 
at Crook, Waterhouses, and Howden were sufficiently- 
central for all possible requirements. Whether the 
branches have justified their existence is perhaps a 
debatable point, and many able arguments have been 
raised both for and against. 

On May 27th it was decided to transfer the banking 
account from Messrs Barclay and Co.'s to the Co-opera- 
tive Wholesale Society's Bank. 

In June Mr. J. Thompson was transferred from 
Sunniside to Stanley, in the place of Mr. R. Robinson, 
who left the Society's service. Mr. George Glover was 
given the position at Sunniside. 

At the November- Quarterly Meeting a donation of 
£50 was made towards the Crook Aged Workers' Homes 
— part of a scheme which speaks volumes for the monu- 
mental enterprise of the miners of Durham County that 
a suitable resting place should be allotted to aged 
workers in their closing stages of life after strenuous 

The steam wagon, for various reasons, was counted 
a failure ; and it was decided to sell it. The Society 
paid £466 for it, being sold, after only two years' service, 
for £100 ; so that, in addition to the fairly heavy repair 
expenses it had entailed, the experiment was not a 
successful one. 

In December eight hundred square yards of land were 
bought at Mount Pleasant, from Pease and Partners 
Limited, for £100, on which it was intended to build 
new branch premises for Stanley. It was not, however, 
till five years later that the building was erected. 

Our Society's History. 211 

1909. — A poj)ular employee, in Mr. C'has. Sillett, fore- 
man of the Waterhoiises grocery department, died in 
January, amid general regret. Mr. C. Rawe was trans- 
ferred to the vacant position. 

In March, Mr. George Hardy, who was checkweighman 
at Woodifield Colliery, on the latter being closed down, 
left the district, and his place on the committee was 
allotted to Mr. Thomas Deighton. 

Mr. Edward Burns, who had been appointed ware- 
houseman at Crook, died very suddenly in May. Mr. 
Charles Addison was apjoointed to the position in 

Mr. Anthony Alderson, flour warehouseman, who had 
been with the Society for twenty-seven years, left in 
the month of August. 

At the August General Meeting the question of the 
introduction of an up-to-date bakery was discussed by 
the members, who, in the end, decided against the pro- 

Trade becamesomewhat slack as this half-year neared 
its completion. To reduce the expenses short time was 
the order of the day for the employees. 

Chaptbe XIV. 


^^J RADE continued to be of an unsatisfactory oharao- 
^— ' ter ; and, finally in May, the committee decided 
that the services of some of the employees should 
be dispensed with. Sixteen of the hands engaged in 
various occupations were given their notices. In addi- 
tion, the remainder, for some weeks, worked short time. 

In July one of the most important matters that ever 
occupied the attention of the members was discussed 
at a Special General Meeting. This was the question of 
a petition from Waterhouses that the branch should be 
granted separation from the Society, and arrangements be 
made for carrying out of the necessary transfers. Natur- 
ally enough the proposal attracted considerable attention 
on both sides of the hill. 

The first of the special meetings was held at Water- 
houses, and Mr. Wm. Jackson was voted to the chair. 
Mr. Wm. Forster was the mover, and Mr. William Gray 
the seconder, of the following motion : — 

" That it is desirable that the Waterhouses 
branch should be separated from the other section 
of the Society." 
Various arguments were raised in support of the separa- 
tion movement, and points were also urged against it. 
The motion was finally agreed to by forty -four votes to 
twelve. Mr. Robert Bell then suggested that such an 
important item should be placed before all of the mem- 
bers in the shape of a ballot befoi« anything further was 
carried out. The Crook meeting, which followed, would, 
however, not sympathise with the proposal ; and it was 
promptly moved, seconded, and carried that the whole 
matter "go off the board." 

Our Fiociety's History. 213 

The Rules, as amended in 1909, came into operation 
at this period in the election of president. This took the 
form of a general vote of all the members, at the same 
time as the committee ballot took place. Mr. Thomas 
Winter, Crook, and Mr. Wm. Jackson, Waterhouses, 
were nominated for the office. In the result Mr. Winter 
received 1,794 votes, to 1,451 given to Mr. Jackson. 

In September Miss Green vacated her position as head 
milliner at Waterhouses, and Miss Chambers was ap- 

The wage question again occupied the attention of 
the committee ; and, on October 1st, the A.U.C.E. scale 
was adopted. The board further agreed that in place of 
the 25s. allotted weekly to an employee on reaching 
twenty-one years, the amount should be not less than 
26s. weekly. The former system of apprenticeship of 
five years for boys was to be continued ; while for girls in 
the Productive departments, a three years' apprenticeship 
was arranged, the wages to be 2s. 6d. first year, 5s. 
second year, and 7s. 6d. third year. All apprentices, 
at the end of their probation, were to make application 
for re-engagement, and if their services were retained 
by the Society, future advances in salary would be granted 
according to merit. The committee also decided that the 
consideration of all wages should occupy their special 
attention once in every six months. 

At the Quarterly Meeting in November, it was con- 
sidered a suitable time for the erection of new premises 
at Stanley, and the committee were given power to 
proceed in the carrying out of the necessary details. 
Mr. Bendle, architect, Newcastle, prepared a plan, and 
estimated the cost of such a building — which comprised 
a shop and two dwelling-houses — as he had sketched, 
to be somewhere about £2,000. To this large capital 
outlay the committee were not prepared to commit 
themselves. - Matters dragged on for a while, and, 
finally, tbe-qfuestiori was laid in abeyance. 

<; 5 to K 

S 03 j= S 

3 it-« 

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W &: 'J a 
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216 Oior Society's History. 

In December Mr. George Lyall, Central tailoring 
cutter, died, and he was followed by Mr. Robert Dixon, 

1911. — Mr. George Lee, manager of the Central ready- 
mades, met with his lamentable death in February. Mr. 
Norman Pearson, Waterhouses, who commenced in 1890, 
was appointed to the vacant position. 

At the February Half-yearly Meeting much discus- 
sion was occasioned by the big loss of £269 Os. 9d. 
in the millinery department at Waterhouses. In the 
same month, at Waterhouses, the manager of the drapery 
department, Mr. John Potts, left the services of the 
Society. He was succeeded by Mr. Alfred Wood, New- 

At the May Quarterly Meeting it was decided that 
Mr. Thos. Winter, president, and Mr. Wm. Jackson, 
Waterhouses, should be the Society's representatives 
at the Annual Congress, which was to be held at Bradford. 

In May Mr. Alfred Horner was given the appointment 
of branch manager at Stanley, in place of Mr. John 
Thompson, who had gone to the Swalwell Society 
as general manager. 

The June half-year saw the introduction of the Leakage 
System amongst the several departments. 

For the presidency the nominations were : — Mr. T. 
Winter, Crook ; Mr. S. A. Meddiok, Crook ; and Mr. G. 
Watson, Tow Law. The voting resulted in the election 
of Mr. Winter, who received 1,620 votes, whilst Mr. 
Meddick's total was 1,053, and Mr. Watson's 676. 

The claims of the Aged Workers' Homes movement 
were again successfully urged at the August General 
Meetings, and £50 was voted to the erection of the 
dwellings at Esh Winning. 

It was decided to commence classes on '" Co-operation" 
for both adults and juniors. Mr. Robert Dawson, Crook, 
and Mr. W. Forster, Waterhouses, were appointed 
teachers. The senior classes, unfortunately, made no 

OiLr Society's History. 217 

headway, and were soon disdontinued- The juniors, 
however, made a brave show, and at each of the classes 
progress has been made in the study of " Co-operation," 
which must ultimately bear forth fruit, when, in their 
maturer years, the students are facing life's struggle. 
Prizes in the shape of books and certificates are given 
each Winter Session. From a study of the examination 
papers, the children are showing considerable ability 
and an intelligent interest in their work. 

Mr. R. Dixon, the Central tailoring cutter, did not 
remain long with the Society. He left to take up a 
similar post at Medomsley, where he died very suddenly 
a few months ago. Mr. Robt. H. Hall, the cutter at the 
Waterhouses branch, was given the position at Crook ; 
and Mr. John D. Stephenson, from the Central, who 
commenced with the Society in 1896, was drafted to the 
Waterhouses position. 

1912. — For some months an effort had been made at 
Bowden Close to run a Co-operative Store. Towards 
March, however, of this year, it was made known that 
the affairs of the new Store were not in the best of con- 
dition, and an appeal was made to our Society to take 
over the assets and liabihties, with a further view to 
continuing the Store as a branch. Mr. Meddiek, Mr. 
Pearson, and Mr. Winter, with the manager and secre- 
tary, were appointed to make a special report as to the 
desirability of taking the concern. Their report finally 
ended the further consideration of the scheme, for it was 
at once decided not to accept the offer. It was not long 
after this that the Bowden Close Store was a thing of the 
past. It had attracted, by its convenience, a few of our 
members ; though only a very small number really 

In July the president — Mr. T. Winter — was the recip- 
ient of hearty congratulations on his appointment as a 
County Magistrate. For only two months and two 
weeks had he the privilege of-exercising his right to an 
honour granted to him for a lifelong service in the 

218 Our Society's History. 

interests of his fellow-men. In the month of August he 
went to Ireland for a much-needed holiday. Whilst in 
Erin's country he died, and few could believe the tele- 
gram announcing his death. The suddenness was appall- 
ing. By his death the town, as well as the Society, were 
alike poorer. In Mr. Winter's absence Mr. Meddick 
acted as chairman ; and then the yearly ballot saw Mr. 
Robt. Young, Roddymoor, appointed as president. He 
received 1,981 votes against 184 given to Mr. J. Stephen- 
son, Waterhouses, and 138 to Mr. J. Jobling, Water- 

1913. — At the beginning of this year Mr. William 
Domville, in February, left the service of the Society 
as manager of the Howden branch. The position was 
given to Mr. Rawe, Waterhouses. Mr. C. Smith was 
transferred from Williugton to Waterhouses, and Mr. 
Geo. H. Walton, Waterhouses, whose engagement with 
the Society dates from 1893, was appointed branch 
manager at Willington. 

In March the system of paying the miners and other 
colliery workers every week instead of fortnightly came 
into vogue. One effect of this was to cause a reversion 
back to the half-day holiday on Wednesdays only, at the 
Waterhouses and Howden branches, in place of the 
alternate Wednesdays and Saturdays. 

The method of making members accounts up once a 
fortnight is still carried on throughout the Society's 
business, but it has been noted that the introduction 
of weekly pays has resulted in a very large increase in 
the cash sales over the counters. 

Miss Chambers left the Waterhouses millinery depart- 
~ment in May, and Mrs. Harris was appointed. 

The question of the Stanley branch was raised at the 
May Quarterly Meeting. The committee reported on the 
excessive expenditiire the building would entail if built 
in anything like the ideal of the plans drawn. The 
meeting also was unanimous that it was too heavy a 
price to pay, and, in the end, thej^ carried a motion 


Cashier, Central. 
3J Years' Service. 

George Midhlehias, 

Cashier, Howden-Ie-Wear Branch. 

26 Years' Service. 


Cashier, Waterhoiises Bran 
34^ Years' Service. 

John Aio:STiioN(i- 

34 Years' Service. 

220 Our Society's History 

empowering the committee to build new premises at a 
cost not exceeding £1,000. Mr. Wm. Mclntyre, Tow 
Law, was the new architect appointed, and his plans and 
specifications proved very acceptable. Tenders were 
invited, and Mr. Jas. W. Lowther, contractor, Peases 
West, was given the work, at a cost of £823 10s. Od., for 
the building of the premises, and a further £108 for the 
shop fittings, fixtures, etc. The new branch was all 
complete by May 2nd, 1914, on which day a happy 
gathering of officials and members took place at the 
opening ceremony. Mr. Wm. Musgrave, Hunwick, 
presided, and, following a few short speeches, the chair- 
man handed a gold medal to the president, Mr. Robert 
Young, as a memento of the occasion. The premises 
are an acquisition to the Society, being most commodious 
and convenient throughout. In addition to the sale of 
groceries and provisions, a room is set apart for boot 
repairing purposes, this work keeping two workmen fully 

Mr. T. Parkin, cashier at the Howden branch, after 
twenty-eight years' able service, left the Society in May, 
and was succeeded by Mr. John Armstrong, from the 
Central office. 

The nominations for the office of president were : — 
Mr. Robert Young, Roddymoor, and Mr. George 
Watson. The former was again returned by 1,974 votes 
to 1,209. 

Mr. Lowther, as the summer months advanced, had 
much ill health, and extra holidays were allowed him, 
by which it was hoped he might regain his old health 
and strength. This hope, however, was never realised, 
and, in September, Mr. Lowther intimated his impending 
resignation. To be fully prepared to meet the coming 
vacancy, the committee decided to advertise at once 
for a general manager, and, in October, Mr. Jonathan 
Wilkinson, general manager of our neighbouring society 
at WiUington was appointed. Mr. Wilkinson com- 
menced his new duties on December 1st. 

Our Society's History. 221 

At the November Quarterly Meeting the members 
gaA'e Mr. Lowther a hearty vote of thanks in recognition 
of his thirty-eight years' service to the Society, seven- 
and-a-half years of which he had been general manager. 
On his retirement the committee also voiced their appre- 
ciation of Mr. Lowther's lengthy and valuable connection 
with the Society. Unfortunately, Mr. Lowther lived but 
a few weeks to enjoy his well-earned rest. In January 
his health again failed, and he eventually passed away 
amid general regret on January 22nd, 1914. A letter of 
condolence from the committee was forwarded to Mrs. 
Lowther and her son, Mr. A. Lowther. At the interment, 
on the following Sunday, there were present among the 
large company, the officials and employees of the Society. 
The latter subsequently erected a handsome memorial 
over their late chief's grave. 

At the August General Meeting Mr. John Oliver, a 
representative from the Co-operative Wholesale Society, 
was present, to give to tlie members an explanation of 
the Life Insurance Scheme. Mr. Oliver was heartily 
applauded at the close of his very lucid address, and it 
was decided to embrace the scheme, which, in a few words 
may be stated to be one of the most helpful movements 
ever introduced into the co-operator's world. Since our 
Society adopted the idea, up to August 26th, 1915, there 
were two hundred and fifteen claims paid, which ab- 
sorbed a total of £1,606 Os. 4d., or an average of £7 9s. 5d. 
per claim. The scheme ensures the definite insurance 
of every member or member's wife. When the death of 
either of them takes place, the Society only requires a 
certified copy of the Registrar's certificate ; and, after 
the necessary calculations have been made, the money 
is at once paid over to the surviving claimant or claim- 
ants, without any further trouble or fees. Already, 
though the scheme has had but two years' trial, we know 
of innumerable cases where the insurance money from 
the Store has been received with tearful thankfulness. 

The Sunniside branch premises next occupied attention, 
owing to its lack of accommodation and its somewhat 

■222 Oitr Society's History. 

insanitary condition. The building came into the 
raarliet, and, with the approval of the members, the 
Society opened negotiations, and bought the' property at 
a cost of £260. Mr. Mclntyre drafted np a plan of 
alterations, which were carried out by Mr. Jas. W. 
Lowther, at a cost of £99 10s. Od., and the result has 
been a nice commodious store. 

In this half-year the committee decided that all 
employees had to become members of the A.U.C.E. 

The hours of closing at the Waterhouses branch were 
re-considered, and it was decided that on alternate 
Saturdays, the premises should close at 4 p.m. and 
8 p.m. The other days' closing times were : — Monday, 
7 p.m. ; Tuesday, 6 p.m. ; Wednesday, 12.30 p.m. ; 
Thursday, 7 p.m. ; and Friday. 8 p.m. 

1914. — Mr. Wilkinson, the new manager, was intro- 
duced to the members at the February General Meeting, 
and was well received. He rffade great changes in the 
arrangements of the departments, including the board- 
ing-up of most of the large bench in the general ware- 
house, and the introduction of a useful set of new fixtures, 
etc., in the Central grocery department. He advocated 
in favour of a motor wagon being introduced, and this 
received the sanction of the May Quarterly Meeting of 
members. The motor was purchased from the Co-opera- 
tive Wholesale Society Limited, at a cost of £513. The 
new machine gives promise of a more successful issue 
than the first experiment in this line gave ; in fact, the 
satisfaction it has given, coupled with the shortage of 
horses, has led, in the present year, to an order being 
given for a second motor. 

In June Mr. Alfred Wood, Waterhouses branch 
drapery manager, left the Society to take up a similar 
position at Cramlington Stores ; his successor being Mr. 
Robert W. Wilkinson, from Skelton. 

Mr. G. Glover was transferred from Sunniside to 
Howden, and Mr. G. Wranghan went from the Central to 
be branch manager at Sunniside. The latter expressed 

Our Sofii'ti/'-s Ilistorij. 


a desire to be relieved, and he was given a place at 
Howden ; and Mr. Wni. Moses, from tire ('rook shop, 
was appointed to iSunniside. 

The month of Augnst arrived, and \\ itli it the most 
terrible war of all times commenced. The cry for 
recruits went through the land, and the committee 
j)romptlv issued notices to emjiloyees that any who would 
enlist should receive half-|)ay. and their ])laces kept open 

xsnN, Ouiiuiiil MiiiiaKer, 1914. 

for them awaiting their return. ( 'ircumstances, however, 
ha^■e arisen which have necessitated a change in the 
latter decision. All enlistments of employees now 
receive separate consideration. The members also, at 
the general meeting, discussed the ([uestion of sn))- 
scriljing to the War Relief Fmid, and .£50 was voted to 

224 Oar Society's History. 

the Prince of Wales' Fund ; £50 to the Belgian Fund ; 
and £5 worth of goods, as a Christmas gift, to Durham 
soldiers who were fighting their country's battles. Up 
to the time of writing this history, the following em- 
ployees have joined the forces : — 

Robert Hopper, Tailor (Waterhouses). 
John Armstrong, Boot Repairer (Howden). 
John W. Collings, Clerk (Central). 
George Frazer, Tailor (Central). 
Roger Duef, Tailor (Central). 
Norman Gardiner, Grocer (Stanley). 
George Hall, Greengrocer (Central). 
Mark Fawbll, Greengrocer (Central). 
J. J. Metcalfe, Grocer (Waterhouses). 
T. RouTLEDGE, Grocer (Waterhouses). 

For manj' years the Society has generously acknow- 
ledged the services rendered to the community by the 
Newcastle Royal Infirmary and the Royal Lifeboat 
Society, by making an annual donation of £10 each to 
these deserving institutions ; in this year it was also 
agreed to give a special gift of £20 to the Royal Infirmary 
Radium Fund. 

Miss Jackson, in August, succeeded Mrs. Harris as 
head milliner at Waterhouses. 

Mr. John Wylam, schoolmaster, Waterhouses, was 
given the post of instructor to the Waterhouses Junior 
Class in " Co-operation." 

For the presidency, Mr. William Jackson, Waterhouses, 
and Mr. George Watson, Tow Law, were nominated. 
Mr. Jackson was successful by 1,860 votes to 1,702. 

1915. — At the February Half-yearly Meeting of mem- 
bers it was agreed that the Rules be altered, so as to 
admit of thirty — instead of fifty — being a sufficient 
quorum for the purposes of General and Special General 
Meetings. That number — fifty — had oft-times proved 
an obstacle in the way of a prompt start at many of the 


CifuisTOPHKi; Rawe, 
Present (>e]ieral IVIaua'-.'er. 


226 Our Society's History. 

members' meetings, and, especially at Waterhoiises, we 
have vivid, though humorous, memories of the rushing 
out into the bye-ways and highways — and other places 
as well — in order to induce straggling members to attend 
in sufficient numbers for the progress of the meeting. 
It was also decided to advance money on properties built 
on leasehold land. This latter addition to the Rules 
was a very necessary one in the interests of the Water- 
houses members, for in that district all land, practically 
without exception, is leasehold. At this meeting, also, 
a long discussion was occasioned by the striking difference 
shown in the profits made in the working of the several 
grocery departments. The committee were instructed 
to give the question their closest attention, and matters 
were the reverse of pleasant to all concerned before the 
affair was considered settled. In the end, Mr. Wilkinson's 
services as general manager ceased ; and the committee 
invited Mr. Christopher Rawe, from the Howden branch, 
to become the general manager. He accepted the 
responsibility which such a position necessarily entails ; 
and, in the short time he has held the post, signs are not 
lacking but that he will be a successful introdviction. 

Mr. Geo. H. Walton was brought from the Willington 
branch shop to be foreman of the Central grocery, and 
another appointment was at the same time made in 
Mr. Thomas Rowe, who came from the Esh Societj% to 
be Central greengrocery manager. Mr. George Smith, 
Willington, who commenced with the Society in 1902, 
was appointed to be branch manager at Willington. 
Mr. Rawe took up his new position on May 10th ; Mr. 
Thomas Burnip, secretary, having meanwhile acted as 
manager pro tern,. 

The vacant branch managership at Howden was 
allotted to Mr. William Moses, Sunniside branch manager ; 
and Mr. Thomas P. Cairns, Waterhouses, who started in 
the service of the Society in 1903, was given the latter 

Our Society's Hisiory. 227 

In April Mr. J. T. Nail, Central butchering manager, 
resigned, and Mr. Herbert W. Langstone, the branch 
manager of Waterhouses butchering department, was 
given the appointment. He was succeeded at Water- 
houses by Mr. Wm. Shevels, Burnopfield, who, in his 
earlier years, had served his apprenticeship with our 

At the May Meeting one was absent who had long been 
a familiar figure at like gatherings ; this was Mr. William 
Trotter, Howden-le-Wear, whose death had just taken 
place. A hearty vote of sympathy was passed by the 
members with his relatives. 

The question of the celebration of the completion of 
the Society's fiftieth year was discussed, and it was 
thought that, in view of the present war crisis, rejoicings 
of an outward character would not harmonise with 
general affairs. The committee recommended the 
publication of a History of the Society's Proceedings during 
the fifty years, and also that a suitable souvenir be given 
to each of the employees. The meeting, however, decided 
against the suggestions. 

In June Mr. George Middlemas was transferred from 
the general office at Crook to be cashier at the Howden 

The last investment of the Society before the half- 
century closed was, perhaps, one of the most notable in 
its history. This was the £1,000 placed in the War Loan. 
Our first pioneers, could they rise again, would, we are 
certain, marvel that such an occasion had arisen which 
called forth sacrifices from all, that the country might 
be freed from its enemies, and the whole world from a 
tyrannous scourge. 

The Half-yearly Meeting of members in August was 
chiefly engaged in a strong criticism on the loss of £400, 
which occurred in the Central butchering department. 
The question of a Jubilee History being prepared was 
again brought before the notice of the meeting, and this 
was agreed to. 



Antk<inv BriiNiP. 

.John Sillett. 

Gkoiu;k Sjiith. 

EwjiKiisnN Dawson. 
-TuirM AinisTUoNG. 


Geoi('5e Wjj. Dent. 
Robert Ryle. John Titoiias Aikblev. 

Joseph Robinson. Rai.i'H CAYiiiLL. 

230 Our Society's History. 

With regard to the war bonus to employees, the com- 
mittee reported that they had granted, in the first place, 
an extra 2s. weekly to married men, and Is. to single 
employees. This, however, had not proved acceptable 
to the employees, and another offer had now been laid 
before the local executive of the A.U.C.E., which was as 
follows : — Apprentices, Is. per week ; single men. Is. 6d.; 
married men up to 42s. per week, 2s. 6d. ; 42s. to 48s. 
per week, Is. 6d. ; above 48s. per week. Is. 

Mr. Wm. Jackson, Waterhouses, was returned un- 
opposed as president. 

To mark their appreciation of his services to the 
Society, in addition to the recognition of the fact of his 
occupancy of the presidential chair at the Society's 
Jubilee period, the committee presented him with a 
handsome gold watch. 

Chaptbb XV. 

" I^AVING concluded our record of events during the 
«-*— G half-century of the Society's career, little re- 
mains to be stated beyond a short survey of the 
general affairs of the Society. That it has met with a 
success beyond the Avildest dreams of our pioneers cannot 
be denied. Perhaps we are still far from being in a joer- 
fect state, so far as ideal Clo-operation may be said to go, 
but a continuity of experience and new experiments will 
clear away many of the imperfections which may exist. 
The Society has been a great factor in local history, and, 
as a trading concern, its operations have been on a truly 
gigantic scale. iSince the first parcel was passed over 
the counter in 1865, the total sales of the Society have 
been £7,605,955 ; and the profits — which have been 
divided amongst the members who made them — total 
£1,198,121. Out of the latter total, thousands of. 
pounds, even when drawn out of the Society, have been 
re-invested in houses, etc. ; whilst, at the present time, 
the 5,025 members haVe a capital of £149,118 to their 
credit in the Societj', or nearly an average of £30 per 

The total yearly sales latterly are a decrease as com- 
pared with those of about fifteen years ago, but signs 
are not wanting that the Society is again on the up 
grade ; and a continuance of the prosperity of the dis- 
trict will, without doubt, be followed by increased sales. 
Even as it is, the present purchases work out at nearly 
£40 per member per annum, and this will compare very 
favourably with other Societies in the country. 

The Society has 167 employees in its employ, made up 
as follows : — Central, 105 ; Waterhouses, 47 ; and 
Howden, 15 ; whilst the 5,000 and odd members are 

232 Our Society's History 

apportioned : — Crook, 3,400 ; Waterhouses, 1,000 ; and 
Howden, 600. Of the original members, a few are still 
with the Society ; while of those who joined at Water- 
houses when the branch was opened out there, the 
following are amongst those who still trade with us : — 
Mrs. Dorothy Hymers (widow of the late Mr. Thomas 
Hymers), Waterhouses, who is the oldest resident in the 
village ; Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hayson, Hedley Hill 
Terrace ; Mrs. Sarah Pearson, (widow of the late Mr. 
William Pearson), Esh Winning ; and Mrs. Bessie Parker 
(widow of the late Mr. Robert Parker), Waterhouses. 

The advancing of money on property to members ha.s 
met with much success and appreciation. Since the 
scheme was first commenced in 1899, the total sum of 
£34,960 has been advanced, and of this £17,930 has been 
repaid to the Society. The mode of procedure to procure 
an advance is very simple. The Society's advance is 
limited to two-thirds of the value of the property which 
members may be desirous of buying. The interest 
charged is 4 per cent., and repayments are due at the 
rate of 5 per cent, per annum. 

The Society's investments total £90,994 2s. lid., 
mainly laid out with the Co-operative Wholesale Society 
Limited, and in railway and colliery shares. The house 
property is valued at £1,699 8s. Id., and the fixed and 
live stock at £3,501 4s. lid. The reserve fund is £1,045 
Is. 3d. The Society's trading premises are valued at 
£12,298 7s. 7d. The stocks in all the departments are 
usually about the value of £16,000. Considering the 
size of the Society, neither of the foregoing items can 
be stated to be unreasonable. 

Our final lines will be devoted to a necessarily curtailed 
account of the characters of those who have held a 
prominent connection with the Society in the haH- 
century's affairs. Whilst, admittedly, there are others 
who are deserving of more than a mere passing mention, 
yet we trust the selection we have made for special 
reference will meet with general acceptance ; and. 



Sa:\iiel Candlki:. 
A. B. \Vi:A1 HKUALU 

234 Oar Society's History. 

further, we trust that the notes will be accepted in the 
spirit in which they are written, namely, a desire to pay 
humble tribute to some of those who have been in the 
main responsible for the successful growth of the Society. 

The outstanding figure has been Mr. William Burnip, 

secretary and manager for forty years, from 1866 to 1906. 
The history of the Society in that period may almost 
irrefutably be termed " the history of William Burnip "; 
and, vice versa, those forty of the best years of his life 
may be said to constitute the history of the Society. We 
would have a long search ere we found another Society 
whose career was so much bound up with the individual- 
istic efforts of one man. Mr. Burnip was born in 1841, 
in the Hunwiok district, and at an early age came with 
his parents to reside in Wheatbottom. He was one of a 
family of ten, of which five were boj's and five were girls. 
Of these, four are still living, in the persons of Mrs. 
Norman, Newcastle-on-Tyne ; Mrs. Lister, Liverpool ; 
Mr. Thomas Burnip (present secretary) ; and Mr. 
Anthony Bvirnip, Crook. The subject of our sketch — 
Mr. William Burnip — on reaching manhood, married 
Miss C'rawhall, a member of the Crawhalls of Stanhope 
— a very old and respected family. Mrs. Burnip, now in 
her seventy-fifth year, is still happily enjoying the best of 
health at her home in St. Mary's Avenue. How Mr. 
Burnip came to be introduced to the Store effort has 
already been given. It was truly a move of instinct 
which led the pioneer members to appeal to him to take 
up a position which at that time teemed with heavier 
responsibilities than came with the ten times larger 
business of the after years. The members were lacking 
ir\ confidence previous to Mr. Burnip's arrival, but, with 
his appearance, pessimism was ground out of sight under 
the genius of the new star that had arisen in the firma- 
ment of the local Co-operative world. One of Mr. 
Burnip's chief characteristics was determination, and 
he faced the situation of 1866 in a manner that at once 
stamped him as a conqueror of difficulties. With Mr. 

OiLr Sociiiiy'n Hislory. 235 

Hayton's death he was early given his chance, and how 
well he succeeded can only be poorly gauged even by a 
study of the phenomenal rise of the Society. In 1867 
the sales were £8,895 ; and thirty-five years later, in 
1902, they were £259,898. That every portion of this 
success was due to him alone would, perhaps, be too much 
of an over-statement. Others there were who helped, 
and helped very materially, yet the leader — the master 
hand — the Napoleon of the whole concern — was Mr. 
Burnip. He educated both himself and others by the 
experience of Co-operative affairs which daily came under 
his notice. As the years rolled on his labours never 
wearied. The Society's interests, aspirations, and 
development were made, as one might say, his own. The 
secretarial work passed through his hands in a masterly 
manner, so complete was his knowledge of matters 
financial and otherwise. His work also, as a manager, 
was of the highest excellence. All his dealings were 
marked with the soundest judgment, and his keenly alert 
business instinct never failed him. In his dealings with 
the employees under his command he coupled fairness 
with discipline. With the members he was deservedly 
esteemed right up to his regretted death in 1906 — a death 
which deprived the Society of one whose name will ever 
be remembered as a great and mighty worker. 

But mention must be made, before' we conclude this 
tribute, of Mr. Burnip's connection with more public 
affairs. He was a member of Wesleyanism all his life, 
and found great acceptance as a local preacher ; whilst 
for years his class was always a continuing success. In 
addition, lie was voted to seats on the Auckland Board 
of Guardians,, the old Parish Council, and the Urban 
Council. He was Chairman of the Guardians, and also 
of the Urban Council. On each occasion he was, by 
virtue of his office, given the appointment of Justice of 
the Peace . His interests in the political world were firmly 
vested with the Liberal Party, and he was many times 
chairman of the meetings held to further the cause of 

236 Ow Suciety's Ristory. 

Liberalism. At his decease all classes joined in a last 
farewell to one who, by his life's work, had enriched the 
town and district by the nobility of his labours. 

Mr. Thomas Pedelty was treasurer for forty-one years. 
He was born at Gunnerside, in Yorkshire, in 1822, and 
came to Crook in the year 1847. He died in July, 1906. 
Mr. Wm. Burnip's death came three weeks later. That 
two men, so inseparably connected through their official 
positions, both in the Society and elsewhere, should die 
practically at the same time, was more than a coincid- 
ence ; it was the most tragic happening in the annals of 
the Society. Mr. Pedelty first joined the movement on 
October 6th, 1864, and became treasurer on August 16th, 
1865. In his forty-one years' service, it is better 
imagined than calculated how much work he did for the 
Society. In the first few years he was the strong man 
of the party of pioneers. Every reliance was placed on 
him, and he never shirked his duty. Day after day, 
as soon as his ordinary occupation at the Bankfoot 
Works permitted, he put in an appearance at the shop, 
and worked with the other hands till closing time ; after 
that, remaining to examine and help in the preparing of 
the accounts. One may truly state that for ten years 
at least he sacrificed himself that the Society should 
prosper. Over and above the assistance he gave in the 
shop, he had to make the journey on foot for a long time 
in all sorts of weather to Waterhouses, to bring the cash 
to Crook to be banked. This early interest on behalf of 
the Society he maintained until his death. In May, 
1900, after thirty-five years' service, the members gave 
a token of their appreciation of his efforts by presenting 
him with a beautifully illuminated address, in which 
striking allusion was made to his splendid labours for 
the Stores. Outside the Co-operative movement Mr. 
Pedelty had an active connection with the Wesleyans. 
He held every office in the church, and was a class leader. 
At one period he held a seat on the old Parish Council, 
when his son, Mr. J. J. Pedelty, wa« also a member of 
the same public body. 

Our Society's History. 237 

Mr. Henry Hayton, the Society's first manager, was a 
Durham man. His mother kept a public house in the 
latter city, and part of Mr. Hayton's education was 
obtained at Goundrj^'s Evening School ; a scholar at the 
same period being Mr. Thomas Armstrong, Grey Street, 
who, with Mr. Benj. C'oates, ranks as one of the few 
of the original members still alive. Mr. Hayton, during 
his short term as manager, gave every evidence of 
achieving good results ; but, very early on in his career, 
his health completely failed, and his death followed after 
a few weeks' illness. 

Mr. John Siddle, the first secretary of the Society, 
was for many years a well-known resident in the town. 
He had all the rough work in connection with the origina- 
tion of both the Mill and Co-operative Store efforts. 
He must have had more than average ability to have 
successfully negotiated as he did the preliminary 
secretarial work. He did not remain long in office after 
the Store commenced, for he apparently resigned the 
post of secretary in October, 1866. Mr. Siddle, later, 
held a responsible position as inspector at Pease and 
Partners' works. He died in 1880. One of his daugh- 
ters is married to Mr. Thomas Hilton, contractor. Bishop 
Auckland, whilst, about five years ago, another daughter 
became the wife of the Rev. F. G. Chambers, Manchester, 
who for some time was Presbyterian minister at Crook. 

Mr. John Dawson was an auditor for eighteen years. 
He worked in the weigh office at White Lea, and was 
a mathematical genius. His great ability in this line 
was a rare source of help to the Society in its younger 
days. Mr. Dawson, who for many years held the post 
of Clerk to the Burial Board, is generally credited as 
being one of the most able men ever resident in the town. 
It is said he once walked almost all the way to London 
in order to transact some business in which he was 
interested. He died in 1885. A clever man, who, 
perhaps, was only foiled by opportunity from rising to 

238 Our Society's History. 

Mr. Henry Stoker was co-auditor for many years with 
Mr. Dawson. He resided at Peases West, and is best 
remembered as one of the most brilliant of science 
teachers in the North of England. Pupils trained by 
him are now occupying responsible positions in every 
part of the world. He left Crook about 1892 to take up 
an important position at Nottingham, as science master, 
a position he held until his death, which occurred a few 
years ago. Mr. Stoker's son — Mr. Joseph Stoker — was 
for some years surveyor to the Crook Urban Council, 
and has now a prosperous business in Canada. 

Mr. Thomas Burnip, the present secretary of the 
Society, has forty-three years' service to his credit. He 
is a brother of the late Mr. Wm. Burnip, and was born in 
Crook. For about thirty -five years he held the post of 
cashier, and, in 1907, succeeded his brother as secretary. 
His value to the Society cannot be over-estimated. No 
Society has ever had a more faithful servant. Years of 
experience have given him a wonderful hold of the affairs 
of the Society ; and his pronounced ability in all financial 
matters has, time after time, proved an invaluable help. 
Outside Co-operation, he has not taken any part in public 
affairs, though last year he was appointed an assistant 
Overseer. He also held the office of secretary to the 
Mechanics' Institute for twenty-seven years. 

Mr. John Lowther was in the service of the Society 
thirty-eight years, seven of which he was general 
manager. He was given the latter position in 1907, 
and this he finally resigned in December, 1913, on 
account of his ill-health. His death took place some two 
months later, in 1914. For thirty-one years he was 
engaged in the grocery department, first as a counter 
hand, and afterwards, in 1883, he was appointed foreman. 
Both as foreman and, later, as general manager, his 
business abilities were very helpful to the Society. In 
other public affairs he also took a prominent part, being 
for nine years a member of the Urban Council. Of this 

Our Society's History. 239 

body he was chairman in 1910, and by virtue of the office, 
was appointed a Justice of the Peace. 

Mr. John Parkinson, who was manager of the Water- 
houses branch from 1871 to 1898, when he died, was first 
employed at the Crook shop in September, 1865. He 
hailed f^on^ Shildon, and during his service with our 
Society was always very popular with all the members. 
A steady, plodding, and careful manager, his work met 
with every approval, and he was, in a great degree, 
responsible for the progress made by the Store at Water- 
houses. He was highly esteemed and respected by all 
classes, and evidence of this was seen when he was given 
a position on the Durham Board of Guardians. 

Mr. George Parkinson, manager of the Waterhouses 
branch, has been with the Society for forty-fonr years. 
He first commenced in 1871, in the old shop in Hamilton 
Row. His indentures as a bound apprentice were signed 
on New Year's Day, 1872. When the first premises in 
Russell Street were erected, he was placed in charge of the 
cash office, and this work he was engaged in till the death 
of the manager — his uncle, Mr. John Parkinson — which 
took place in 1898, when the committee unanimously 
gave him the highest appointment at this the Society's 
most important branch. In this position he has served 
the Society in a faithful and praiseworthy manner. His 
able superintendence has been no small factor in the 
success of the Waterhouses branch. He holds the 
fullest confidence of the committee and members. 

Mr. John James Pedelty, drapery manager at the 
Central, is the holder of an almost unique record. He 
started at the age of eleven years to serve the Society, 
in a very humble position. To-day he is still with us, 
after practically fifty years' service ; the only break being 
for some few weeks in 1879, when he went to work at 
Skelton. He has grown and lived with the Society, and 
has vivid memories of its ups and downs in its earliest 
days. His record is as honourable as it is lengthy. 
A keen and able buyer, a capable manager in every way. 

240 Our Society's IIislo7-y. 

he has carried his departmental duties out year following 
year in a manner which stands beyond reproach. He 
has spared no effort in securing satisfactory sales even 
in the slackest of trade periods, and the results in the 
shape of final profits have been strikingly uniform and 
highly creditable. Mr. Pedelty, who was born in Crook, 
has had a lifelong connection with the Wesley an Church, 
and has held every office under the auspices of that body. 
He was a member of the old Parish Council ; and, as a 
member of the Freemasons, held the highest office as 
Worshipful Master in 1910. 

Mr. Wm. Arthur Smith, F.C.A,, the Society's present 
auditor, has held the post for twenty years. Mr. Smith, 
whose offices are in King Street, South Shields, is profes- 
sional auditor to the Borough of South Shields ; he also 
has an extensive clientele in the North of England. In 
addition to our Society, he has also the auditorship of 
the Co-operative Societies of Boldon, Esh Winning, 
Cornforth, Stanhope, etc. Since his first appearance 
at Crook, in 1895, he has always held the fullest confi- 
dence of the officials and members. His interest in the 
Society's affairs has never flagged from his opening 
balance sheet ; and time after time his advice, when 
sought, on matters affecting the welfare of the Society, 
has i^roved of the highest value. His work as auditor has 
not ceased with the closing of the accounts in each 
half-year, for ho keeps himself fully conversant with the 
Society's transactions, and is ready at all times for 
consultation. His efforts on behalf of the Society — 
perhaps most particularlj' notable in the important 
transfers occasioned by the liquidation of R. Stephenson 
atid Co. — have always been marked with great ability. 
As he himself says, he has a great friendship for the 
Society and its members, over and above his professional 

Mr. Christopher Rawe, the present general manager, 
has not as yet had many months' service in this capacity, 
his appointment only dating from May of the present 

Our Society's Histori/. 241 

year. His career with the Society, however, dates back 
some twenty-six years, and the excellence of his service 
during that period has now, by his present appointment, 
met with deserved recognition. All his work has been 
marked with thoroughness ; and this, added to a natural 
ability, gives us promise that the committee's choice to 
fill the highest position in the Society's employ will 
undoubtedly prove to have been a wise one. Certain 
it is that Mr. Rawe will devote himself to a proper 
carrying out of the responsible duties which henceforth 
lie in his path. His lifelong association with the district 
and its customs and needs will also enable him to judge 
very materially as to the requirements of the Store's 

Special mention might also fittingly be made of the 
long services of Mr. John Whitfield and Mr. Andrew 

Mr. Whitfield was first engaged in 1872, and, after 
forty-three years' service, is still at the Waterhouses 
branch in the warehouse. Always ready with a happy 
retort, John is very popular wiih both his fellow em- 
ployees and customers alike. 

Mr. Reid has forty years' service to his credit. As 
one of the Society's accountants, he has much responsible 
and intricate work, and this he has discharged year in 
and year out in a most accurate and painstaking style. 
His books are models of correctness. The auditors on 
many occasions have complimented him on the high 
proficiency of his work. 

Mr. William Bland was chairman to the Society for 
the first fourteen years, and joined as a member in 
September, 1865. Although he was engaged at the 
Bankfoot coke ovens, j'et, originally, he had been a 
coachman of the old-fashioned type, and came from 
London to the North. Probably his wider experience of 
the world's doings gained for him the unanimous vote 
from his brothers on the Board that he was best fitted to 
take the chair. He lived to be ninety years of age, and is 



Tirojr \-S BiNNw, IKHti. 

jA.,E»Wn,,<,NSnN,lS9«. ,UMKS LEON U.I,, IM. 


Thomas Asiii;kii«; k, ISSK, lss:i, 1,k;ii, Isflii, 
JuuN SiciTT 1SS7 lUiil l.s:i(l. Gkcikhf, iTow I.awl, lsn-1, ls',15 

Tu3iArT.ix,lS07. 1900, 180J, 19U7. 

EuwAiiii MiLBURN, 1003 and 190J. John Whitk, 1899. 

244: Our Society's History. 

remembered as a plodding and constant man, true to his 
fellows, and ever seeking towards the strengthening of 
our Society. His troubles as chairman would be many ; 
and we to-day can bear tribute that his work ultimately 
met some recompense by the Society's subsequent 

Mr. Joseph Patterson, chairman in 1880, died in 1907, 
at the advanced age of eighty -five years. He was at 
one time overman at the Roddymoor and Stanley 
Collieries. After a brief visit to America, he returned to 
reside at Howden, where, in addition to a shop business 
which he conducted, he also held the post of Rate 
Collector in the Bedburn district. As a member of the 
Wesleyan Church, he had a very long connection with 
that body, and was a local preacher for many years. 

Mr. Henry Bowes was chairman in 1881, 1882, and 
1883. He joined the Society or Mill on February 13th, 
1865, and at once became a very active worker in its 
interests. He was a coke inspector at Waterhouses, and 
left no stone unturned to further the development of 
Co-operation in that district. A man of powerful 
stature, he likewise was gifted with a powerful will, allied 
with excellent powers of penetration and adaptation. 
It was chiefly owing to his endeavours that Mr. Wm. 
Burnip was secured for the work of the Society. Mr. 
Bowes had the fullest esteem of his fellows on the board 
of management. His death, on January 31st, 1890, 
at the age of sixty-one years, lost to the Society one 
whose services, both as a pioneer and continuing worker, 
cannot be over-estimated. 

Mr. Wm. Heslop, Peases West, was chairman in 1884. 
In 1885, in the same office, he received the title of 
president. He was a well-known inspector in connection 
with Pease and Partners' works, collieries, and houses. 
On behalf of the Society he was constantly engaged in 
the drafting up of plans and schemes for new erections 
and for alterations to the existing buildings. He took 
a very keen interest in the Society's doings, and was often 

Our Society's History. 245 

prominent, both in committee and at the general meet- 
ings of members, with the proposition of important 
motions. He died in 1894. 

Mr. Thomas Binns, Waterhouses, filled the presidential 
chair in 1886. He has been dead for several years, but 
the memory of him is still dear to many people on the 
Waterhouses side, where he held the position of Temper- 
ance Missionary. Through this post he was the means 
of many being turned into a better walk of life. No 
bluster — just a httle quiet talk — and the seeds of truth 
which fell from his honest lips seldom touched stony 
ground. He had a great love for Co-operative work, and 
was often elected as chairman to preside over the general 
meetings of the Society. 

Mr. John Scott, who was president in 1887 and 1890, 
was a well-known official at Wooley Colliery. He had 
a long connection with the Mount Pleasant Primi- 
tives, and was an able local preacher. He left the 
district about 1893, and emigrated to America. 

Mr. Thomas Ashbridge, president in 1888, 1889, 1891, 
and 1892, was a highly respected man all over the 
district. He resided at Robin Hood, Stanley, and origin- 
ally hailed from the Cumberland district. When trade 
became slack in the latter county, he walked the whole 
of the way to Shildon to obtain work. Afterwards he 
moved to Stanley, where he died in 1893. Mr. Ashbridge 
was all his life an ardent member of the Primitive Meth- 
odist cause, for which he laboured long and earnestly, 
both as a local preacher and a devotee to Sunday School 
work. By his death the district, as well as the Society, 
was the poorer, and much regret was expressed at his 

Mr. Thomas Pearson, the 1893 president, is one of the 
best-known and respected men in the Waterhouses and 
Esh districts. As a oheckweighman, he has had a long 
and honourable service in the interests of the miners, 
and it is pleasing to note that his efforts have been 
received mth every appreciation. He has held office on 


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Hl-.Nl;\ STHKEli. 

jniTN r 

Ja:mf.s Yul'X'-.. 
THiiMAs DovKK William Paukkr. 


248 Our Society's History. 

the Durham Board of Guardians and the Brandon and 
Byshottles Urban District Council. Whilst on the latter 
body he was appointed chairman ; and, by virtue of 
his office, became a magistrate for the usual period. 
From these positions of honour Mr. Pearson finally, by 
reason of his ill-health, felt himself obliged to retire, 
amid general expressions of regret. In connection with 
the Society, his able services have always been valued 
very highly. 

Mr. George Watson, Tow Law, has been honoured 
with the presidency on five occasions — in 1894, 1895, 
1900, 1901, and 1907. He has always been very popular 
with the members, and, as chairman of the committee, 
his ability and impartiality gained for him admiration 
and respect from his fellow officials. At Tow Law he has 
had a lengthy and valuable connection with the local 
Primitives. Mr. Watson is employed as a keeker at the 
Black Prince Colliery. 

Mr. William R. Heslop, president in 1896, has resided 
in Crook for many years. He is a checkweighman at the 
Roddymoor Colliery, and has had a long and honourable 
service as a miners' official. He was a member of the old 
Parish Council, and is at present on the Auckland Board 
of Guardians. Probably few men are better known in 
the district than Mr. Heslop, who was a very useful 
official of our Society. 

Mr. Tom Auton, president in 1897, was known and 
respected over a wide area. In addition to being a 
popular Wesleyan local preacher, his able services as an 
elocutionist of no mean ability were constantly in demand 
at concerts,, etc. He met with a cycling accident in 1907, 
from which he died. At the time of his death Mr. Auton 
was a School Attendance Officer. 

Mr. James Wilkinson lived at Waterhouses when he 
was president of the Society in 1898. He was at that 
time an official of the Hamsteels Colliery, and was highly 
esteemed by the workmen. As a local preacher to the 
Primitives, his thoughtful sermons have still an abiding 

Our Society's History. 249 

place with those who heard them . Mr. Wilkinson is now 
resident at Thornley (Durham). 

Frobably few presidents have been better known 
amongst the members than Mr. John White, president 
in 1899. Year after year he has seldom, if ever, failed 
to attend the general meetings of the members of the 
Society. He has there spoken on topics of every kind 
which have come under the heading of Co-operative 
progress ; and no one can gainsay his ability in driving 
his points home. He has, moreover, been impartial in 
his criticisms — officials, employees, and members all 
receiving an equal share ; but the underlying motive 
was always the same — his earnest wish to further the 
success of the Society. Mr. White is now a resident at 

Mr. James Leonard, president in 1902, was very 
actively identified with the town and district. As a 
miners' official, he occupied office in all the most import- 
ant executives in connection with the Durham Miners' 
Association, and was for six years chairman of the 
Northumberland and Durham Miners' Permanent Relief 
Fund. He was for nearly thirty years checkweighman 
at the Stanley Drift Colliery. For twenty years he A's-as 
one of the ablest members of the old Crook School Board, 
and he also served six years as a member of the Auckland 
Guardians. He was a member of the Urban Council for 
six years. On the School Board, Board of Guardians, 
an^ Urban Council, he served as chairman and vice- 
chairman, being elected unanimously on each occasion. 
He left Crook in 1904 to take up the position of Clerk to 
the Education Committee at Sedgefield. This position 
he still retains. His residence is at Norton. 

Mr. Edward Milburn, president in 1903 and 1904, is 
one of the best-known men in the county. He held 
many important offices in the district, including the 
clerkships to the old Parish Council, the Urban Council, 
Burial Board, Bedburn Parish Council, Tow Law Parish 
Council, etc. As a member of the Masonic Order, few 


250 Oiir Society's History. 

can equal his knowledge of the rites and working of the 
historic Freemasonry movement, in which, locally, he 
has held the highest offices. But, perhaps, Mr. Milburn, 
who now resides at Tow Law, is best remembered by his 
efforts as a singer. As a baritone, he, when in his prime, 
could not be equalled in the Northern Counties. He was 
choirmaster at the Crook Parish Church for a great 
number of ye^rs, during which time the choir maintained 
a high standard of proficiency. Mr. Milburn also had a 
long and useful career in the Cricket field. While offici- 
ally connected with the Society, his work in its interests 
was marked by much ability. 

Mr. Ralph Walton, president in 1909, was a well-known 
official in connection with the company of Pease and 
Partners Limited. He never courted much public life, 
but was, nevertheless, one of the best-known and 
respected men in the district, due largely to his long 
service as a science teacher in connection with the evening 
classes. In the course of his teaching career many hun- 
dreds of pupils passed through his hands ; and the success 
with which many of them have met is sufficient testi- 
mony to the excellence of the instruction that they 
received from him. His death in 1911 was extremely 

Mr. Robert Young, president in 1908, 1912, and 1913, 
follows the vocation of keeker at Roddymoor CoUiery. 
His chief public association has been the occupancy of 
the highest office in the Society, and he has been one of 
the most able and active of our line of presidents. He 
first became a member of the committee in 1892, and, 
since that time, he has been responsible for a large 
amount of work in the Society's inteiest. His ability 
has always met with unanimous recognition, and he has 
invariably been appointed to all the important sub- 
committees from time to time arranged. His general 
knowledge, allied with sound tactics, have always been 
marked traits, which have contributed in no mean degree 
to the success of the Society. 

Our Society's History. 251 

Mr. Thomas Winter, J.P., was president in 1906, 1910, 
and 1911. He died in 1912, just as he was completing 
his term of office. Mr. Winter was very actively con- 
nected with the public hfe of Crook. As a miners' 
official he was entrusted with many important delega- 
tions, and was one of the Board of Examiners on Mining. 
He was a member of the old Parish Council, and, in later 
years, became a member of the Auckland Board of 
Guardians, being a past chairman and a member of all 
the important committees. He held many offices in the 
Wesleyan Church, and was an acceptable local preacher. 
In his later years he rendered yeoman service to the 
Labour Party, and was the chairman of the Barnard 
Castle Labour and Progressive Association. 

The jubilee and present president is Mr. William 
Jackson, who is a horse-shoer, and resides at Water- 
houses. We detract in no way from the excellence of 
previous occupants of the presidential chair when we 
state that he is one of the best and most able of all those 
who have been honoured by the members by appoint- 
ment to the office of president. For one who has not had 
a long connection officially with the Society, he has made 
surprising headway in the affections and esteem of the 
members, employees, and his fellow officials aUke. No 
one can deny his great sense of fairness. He spares no 
trouble that justice may triumph. A man gifted with 
keen powers of penetration, he gives a close hearing to all 
questions which are continually arising in the Society's 
affairs ; and his excellent reasoning and summing up 
never fail to carry the highest effect. Both in committee 
and at the general meetings his efforts as chairman have 
been carried out in a splendidly impartial manner, and 
it is safe to say he is one of the most popular presidents 
ever connected with our Society. At Waterhouses he 
is a big asset to the Wesleyan Church, and he is an 
appreciated local preacher. 

Ei)\\A]u> Lloyd (Author of Hi'<iory], 
Accountant ot Society, 'li Teens' Service. 

Our Society's History. 253 


August to December — Thomas Swan, Joseph Jopling. 

January to June — Thomas Swan, John Hall. 
July to December — Thomas Heslop, Joseph Jackson. 

January to June — Thomas Heslop, Joseph Jackson. 
July to December — Thomas Heslop, John Dawson. 

January to June — Thomas Heslop, John Dawson, John Coats. 
July to December — Thomas Heslop, John Dawson. 

January to June — Thomas Heslop, John Dawson. 
July to December — Thomas Heslop, John Dawson. 

January to June — John Dawson, John Coats. 
July to December — John Dawson, John Coats. 

January to June — John Dawson, John Coats. 
July to December — John Dawson, John Coats. 

January to June — John Dawson, Thomas Swan. 
July to December — John Dawson, Thomas Swan. 

January to June — John Dawson, Thomas Swan. 
July to December — John Dawson, Thomas Swan. 

January to June — John Dawson, Thomas Swan. 
July to December — John Dawson, Thomas Swan. 

January to June — John Dawson, Isaac Bowman. 
July to December — John Dawson, Henry Stoker. 

January to June — John Dawson, Henry Stoker. 
July to December — John Dawson, Henry Stoker. 

January to Jmie — John Dawson, Henry Stoker. 
July to December — John Dawson, Henry Stoker. 

254 Our Society's History, 

AUDITORS — Continued. 

January to June — John Dawson, Henry Stoker. 
July to December — John Dawson, Henry Stoker. 

January to June — John Dawson, Henry Stoker. 
July to December — John Dawson, Henry Stoker. 

January to June — John Dawson, Henry Stoker. 
July to December — John Dawson, Henry Stoker. 

January to June — John Dawson, Henry Stoker. 
July to December — John Dawson, Henry Stoker. 

January to June — John Dawson, Henry Stoker. 
July to December — John Dawson, Henry Stoker. 

January to June — John Dawson, Henry Stoker. 
July to December — John Dawson, Henry Stoker. 

January to June — John Dawson, Henry Stoker. 
July to December — John Dawson, Henry Stoker. 

January to June — John Scott, Henry Stoker. 
July to December — John Scott, Henry Stoker. 

January to June — John Scott, Henry Stoker. 
July to December — Thomas Dover, Henry Stoker. 

January to June — Thomas Dover, Henry Stoker. 
July to December — Thomas Dover, Aaron Wharton. 

January to June — Thomas Dover, Aaron Wharton. 
July to December — James Young, Aaron Wharton. 

January to June — Aaron Wharton, James Young. 
July to December — Henry Stoker, James Young. 

January to June — Henby Stoker, James Young. 
July to December — Henry Stoker, John Potts. 

January to June — Henry Stoker, John Potts. 
July to December — James Young, John Potts. 

Our Society's History. 


AUDITORS — Continued. 

January to June — James Young, Aaeon Wharton. 
July to December — James Young, William Pakker. 

January to June — James Young, William Parker. 
July to December — John Potts, William Parker. 

January to June — John Potts, William Parker. 
July to December — John Potts, William Parker. 

1895 to 1915. 
W. Arthur Smith, F.C.A., South Shields. 


August, 1865, to August, IS 
Mr. Wm. Bland, Chairman. 

Mr. G. Batey. 


John Robinson. 
Wm. Airey. 
Joseph Jackson. 
William Harrison. 
Isaac Wilson. 


T. Pearson. 
Rd. Wilkinson. 
Joseph Briggs. 
Thomas Groves. 
John Gill. 
John Hall. 
Wm. Atkinson. 

August, 1866, to August, 1867. 

Mr. Wm. Bland, 
Mr. J. CoATES. 

J. Thistlethwaite. 
G. Batey. 
T. Pearson. 
J. Briggs. 
John Quiokmibe. 


Benjamin Coates. 
John Siddle. 
r. longstaff. 

Mr. W. BuRNip, Sen. 
T. Proudfoot. 
J. Dewell. 
T. Nattrass. 
H. Bowes. 


T. Pearson. 

T. Swan. 

W. Henderson. 

Mr. John Coates. 
Thos. Swan. 


Joseph Briggs. 
Wm. Morton. 
J. Ashman. 

August, 1S67, to August, 1868. 
Mr. Wm. Bland, Chairman. 

Mr. Adam Suddick. 
„ E. Brougham. 
,, T. Pearson. 
,, G. Batey. 
,, Henry Bowes. 


Our Society's Histott 

COMMITTEES — Continued. 
August, 1870, to August, 1871. 

Mr. Wm. Bland, Chairman. 
Mr. J. Coats. Mr. W. Lobi.ey. 

R. Fryer. ,, T. Swan. 


J. Thistlethwaite. ,, J. Bricgs. 

J. Smith. ,, T. Groves. 

M. Reed. „ T. Pearson. 
G. Batey. 

August, 1871, to August, 1872. 

Mr. Wm. Bland, Chairman. 

Mr. T. Groves. Mr. Jos. Briggs. 
John Coats. „ Thos. Swan. 

Henry Bowes. ,, Thos. Pearson. 

McH. Burrell. ,, Alex. French. 

Wm. Taylor. ,, John. Hutchinson. 

r. longstaff. 

August, 1872, to August, 1873. 

Mr. Wm. Bland, Chairman. 

Mr. Thos. Swan. Mr. H. Bowes. 

Thos. Armstrong. „ Thos. Pearson. 

W. Forstee. „ W. Robinson. 

Ben. Coats. „ A. French. 

W. Taylor. „ W. Heslop. 
J. Hutchinson. 

August, 1873, to August, 1874. 

Mr. Wm. Bland, Chairman. 

Jlr. W. Foster. Mr. W. Robinson. 
B. Coats. „ W. Heslop. 

T. Armstrong. ,. Jno. Race. 

A. French. „ T. Waddle. 

T. Swan. „ W. Hutchinson. 

Mark Willey. 

August, 1874, to August, 1875. 

Mr. Wm. Bland, Chairman. 

Mr. T. Waddle. Mr. W. Hutchinson. 

,, T. Swan. „ W. Hetherington. 

,, M. Willey. „ B. Coats. 

,, Isaac Bowman. ,, A. French. 

,, J. Race. „ W. Robinson. 

,, R. Bbunskill. „ H. Bowes. 

Our Society's Histoiy. 257 

COMMITTEES— CoreMimfrf. 

AuGvsT, 1875, TO August, 1876. 
Mr. Wm. Bland, Ohairman. 
Mr. Isaac. Bowman. Mr. B. Coats. 

,, W. Robinson. ., W. Hutchinson. 

,, A. French. ,, W. Hethebington. 

,, Jos. Close. , W. Bkunskill. 

,, Jno. Race. „ T. Waddle. 

„ H. Bowes. , M. Willey. 

August, 1876, to August, 1877. 
Mr. W. Bland, Ohairman. 
Mr. B. Coats. Mr. Jos. Close. 

W. Hutchinson. ,, Jno. Race. 

T. Waddle. ,, W. Robinson. 

I. Bowman. ,, J. Rowlinson. 

H. Bowes. ,, W. Askew. 

Sim. Simpson. ,, J. Adamthwaite. 

August, 1877, to August, 1878. 
Mr. W. Bland, Chairman. 
Mr. W. Askew. Mr. H. Bowes. 

J. Adamthwaite. ,. Jno. Scott. 

J. Rowlinson. ,, J. Race. 

T. Waddle. ,, I. Bowman. 

W. Robinson. ,, W. Taylok. 

B. Coats. 

August, 1878, to August, 1879. 
Mr. W. Bland, Chairman. 
Mr. Jno. Race. Mr. W. Robinson. 

,, B. Coats. ., Joseph Patterson. 

,, T. Waddle. ,, H. Bowes. 

,, John Scott. ,, J. Dowson. 

,, W. Askew. ,, D. Scott. 

,, I. Bowman. ., W. Taylor. 

August, 1879, to August, 1880. 
Mr. W. Bland, Chairman. 
Mr. W. Askew. Mr. H. Bowes. 

,, J. Patterson. ,, G. Sayers. 

., J. C. Dowson. ,, B. Coats. 

,, W. Robinson. ,. J. Scott. 

,, J. Race. ,, M. Wharton. 

, T. LiDDLE. 

August, 1880, to August, 1881. 
Mr. Joseph Patterson, Chairman. 
Mr. B. Coats. Mr. W. Grey. 

W. Robinson. ., T. Liddle. 

J. C. Dowson. ,, J. Race. 

G. Sayers. , R. Paxton. 

W. Bland. ,, W. Bland. 

M. Wharton. 

258 Our Society's History. 

COMMITTS'ES— Continued. 

August, 1881, to August, 1882. 
Mr. Henry Bowes, Chairman. 
Mr. T. LiDDLE. Mr. A. Flower. 

,, M. Wharton. „ W. Askew. 

„ R. Paxton. „ W. Grey. 

„ J. Scott. „ G. Kiekby. 

,, J. Race. ,, B. Coats. 

,, W. Robinson. 

AUGU.ST, 1882, to August, 1883. 
Mr. Henry Bowes, Chairman. 
Mr. J. Scott. Mr. W. Askew. 

„ B. Coats. „ T. Clakk. 

., J. Race. ,, R. Paxton. 

,, A. Flower. ,, W. Vipond. 

,, W. Robinson. ,, T. Lambert. 

„ T. Dover. 

August, 1883, to August, 1884. 
Mr. Henry Bowes, Chairman. 
Mr. T. Clark. Mr. J. Race. 

,, T. Dover. „ P. Robinson. 

,. W. Heslop. ,, T. Lambert. 

,, J. Dack. ,, J. Blackett. 

„ W. Grey. ., James Young. 

,, B. Coates. 

August, 1884, to August, 1885. 
Mr. Wm. Heslop, Chairman. 
Mr. J. Dack. Mr. P. Robinson. 

,, J. Young. „ T. Asheridgb. 

,, J. Blackett. „ W. Gbey. 

,, A. Flower. ,, J. Patterson. 

,, T. Lambert. ,, T. Binns. 

,, G. Ward. ,, Joseph Middlemas. 

August, 1885, to August, 1886. 
Mr. Wm. Heslop, President. 
Mr. Thos. Ashbbidge. Mr. Michael Davison. 

Jos. Middlemas. „ W. Ellis. 

John Race. „ George Watson. 

Thomas Dover. ,, Thomas Binns. 

Joseph Patterson. „ Anthony Flower. 

George Ward. 

August, 1886, to August, 1887. 
Mr. Thomas Binns, President. 
Mr. Joseph Bowes. Mr. T. Ashbridge. 

,, Ernest Foster. „ Wm. Grey. 

„ J. Patterson. „ John Scott. 

,, Jos. Middlemas. „ G. Watson. 

„ J. Race. „ J. Turneull. 

,, John Stephenson. 

Our Society's History. 259 


August, 1887, to August, 1888. 
Mr. John Scott, President. 
Mr. J. Bowes. Mr. T. M. Graham. 

,, Joseph Pedhlty. „ D. Pearce. 

„ W. Ellis. „ E. Foster. 

,, T. Lambert. ,, J. Turnbull. 

„ M. Davison. „ J. Stephenson. 

„ W. Grey. 

August, 1888, to August, 1889. 
Mr. Thomas Ashbridge, President. 
Mr. T. M. Graham. Mr. G. Ward. 

,, T. Lambert. ,, J. Morris. 

„ D. Pearce. ,, G. Watson. 

,, J. Race. ,, W. Ellis. 

,, J. Hacker. ,, M. Davison. 

„ Jos. Middlemas. 

August, 1889, to August, 1890. 
Mr. T. Ashbridge, Pr.esident. 
Mr. B. Emmebson; Mr. J. Bowes. 

W. R. Heslop. ,, T. Co WELL. 

J. Race. ,, G. Watson. 

J. Scott. ,, J. Middlemas. 

G. E. Ward. ,, J. Morris. 

J. Turnbull. 

August, 1890, to August, 1891. 
Mr. John Scott, President. 
Mr. T. CowELL. Mr. John Gardiner. 

W. R. Heslop. „ W. Longstaff. 

J. Bowes. ,. John Robinson. 

R. Emmebson. ,, M. Davison. 

T. Lambert. „ J. Turnbull. 

T. Dt-NN. 

August, 1891, to August, 1892. 
Mr. T. Ashbridge, President. 
Mr. John Robinson. Mr. J. M. Allison. 

Jos. Middlemas. ,, T. Lambert. 

J. Gardner. „ M. Davison. 

T. W. Hughes. „ G. Watson. 

W. Ellis. ,, W. Longstaff. 

J. Race. 

August, 1892, to August, 1893. 
Mr. T. Ashbridge, President. 
Mr. T. Pearson. Mr. J. Turnbull. 

T. W. Hughes. ,, J. Race. 

Geo. Smith. „ G. Watson. 

W. Ellis. „ R. Young. 

W. R. Heslop. „ Jos. Middlemas. 

Robert Armstrong. 

260 Our Society's History. 

COMMITTEES — Continued. 

AtTGusT, 1893, TO August, 1894. 
Mr. Thomas Pearson, J.P., President. 
Mr. W. LoNGSTAFF. Mr. J. Tueneull. 

„ G. Smith. ,, J. Gardiner. 

,, J. T. RuDD. ,, Jas. Leonard. 

,. T. Lambert. ,, R. Young. 

,, W. R. Heslop. ,, Rob. Armstrong. 

„ J. Huthwaite. 

August, 1894, to August, 1895. 

Mr. George Watson, President. 
Mr. J. Huthwaite. Mr. Henry Johnson. 

,, Joseph Bowes. „ J. Gardiner. 

,, W. Longjtaff. ,, Jas. Leonard. 

„ Jos. Middlemas. „ .J. T. Budd. 

,, Jno. Race. „ T Lambert. 

,, E. Milburn. 

August, 1895, to August, 1896. 

Mr. George Watson, President. 
Mr. J. Bowes. Mr. T. Pearson. 

,, E. MiLBUBN. „ W. R. Heslop. 

„ G. Smith. „ T. M. Graham. 

,, Jos. Middlemas. „ J. P.,ace. 


,, Hy. Johnson. 

August, 1896, to August, 1897. 
Mr. William R. Heslop, President. 
Mr. G. Smith. Mr. John Potts. 

,, T. M. Graham. „ J. Beardmore 

,. John Turnbull. Jobling. 

., Peter Frater. „ Thos. Parker. 

„ Thos. Pearson. „ Tom Auton. 

,, Rob. Emmerson. „ Robt. Young. 

August, 1897, to August, 1898. 
Mr. Tom Auton, President. 
Mr. T. Parker. Mr. Geo. Nelson. 

,, R. Young. ,, Jos. Shevels. 

„ Geo. Slee. ,. T. Raine. 

„ J. B. Jobling. „ Jas. Wilkinson. 

„ R. Emmerson. „ Thos. Winter. 

„ John Potts. 

August, 1898, to August, 1899. 
Mr. James Wilkinson, President. 
Mr. T. Raine. Mr. S. Troman. 

„ G. Nelson. „ T. Winter. 

„ G. Slee. „ C. Thomas. 

„ J. Shevels. „ Jno. Maddison. 

„ W. English. „ J. White. 

,, Jno. Stephenson. 

Old- Society's HUtoiy. 261 

COMMITTEES — Con(imte(L 

AuousT, 1899, TO August, 1900. 
Mr. John White, President. 
Mr. W. English. Mr. J. Maddison. 

C. Thomas. ,, .T. T. Rudd. 

S. Tkoman. „ JoNT. Thompson. 

J. Keogan. „ Wm. Betton. 

J. Stephenson. ,, Jno. Harvey. 

Jas. Dack. 

August, 1900, to August, 1901. 
Mr. George Watson, President. 
Mr. J. Harvey. Mr. J. Race. 

,. J. Dack. „ Jos. Middlemas. 

„ J. Keogan. „ W. Musgrave. 

., Wm. Betton. ,, Wm. Porteus. 

,. J. Thompson. „ Hy. Johnson. 

., J. T. Rudd. 

August, 1901, to August, 1902. 
Mr. G. Watson, President. 
Mr. Jas. Leonard. Mr. P. Frater. 

,, Jos. Middlemas. 

„ T. J. Wilson. 

,, W. Musgrave. 

„ Geo. Smith. 

,, Jno. Race. 

,, H. Johnson. 

., Wm. Fell. 

,, T. Pearson. 

., W. Porteus. 




August, 1903. 

Mr. James 


J. P., President. 

Mr. T. Pearson. 

Mr. C. Norwood. 

„ P. Frater. 

., T. Acton. 

.. G. Smith. 

,, R. Young. 

. W. Fell. 

„ T. J. Wilson. 

., .J. Fitzpatrick 

,, R. Emmerson 


August, 1903, to August, 1904. 
Mr. Edward Milburn, President. 
Mr. J. CoLLiNSON. Mr. R. Young. 

, J. JoBLiNG. ., Jos. Robinson. 

., C. Norwood. ,, Geo. Moore. 

., Ralph Walton. .. R. Emmerson. 

,, John Middlem.4.s. ,, J. Fitzpatrick. 

„ T. Auton. 

August, 1904, to August, 1905. 
Mr. Edward JIilbuen, President. 
Mr. Joseph Bowes. Jlr. John Middlemas. 

,, J. JoBLiNG. „ W. R. Heslop. 

., J. Parker. ,, Jos. Robinson. 

., G. Moore. ,, Robt. Bell. 

,, S. Troman. ,, Ralph Walton, 

.. C. Thomas. 


Our Society's History. 







COMMITTEES — Continued. 

August, 1905, to August, 1906. 

Mr. Wm. R. Heslop, President. 
J. Bowes. Mr. S. Troman. 

J. Stephenson. „ C. Thomas. 

J. Paekeb. „ T. Winter. 

Wm. Collier. „ J. Robinson. 

Thomas Bell. ,, R. Bell. 

T. M. Graham. 

August, 1906, to August, 1907. 

Mr. Thomas Winter, President. 
T. Pearson. Mr. T. M. Graham. 

J. Stephenson. ,, T. Bell. 

T. Hill. „ G. Watson. 

W. Collier. „ T. Robinson. 

Jos. Middlemas. „ W. Musgrave. 

John Race. 

August, 1907, to August, 1908. 

Mr. George Watson, President. 
T. Pearson. Mr. Jno. Jobson. 

J. Sillett. „ G. Hardy. 

J. CoLLiNSON. ,, Jno. H. Mawson. 

W. Musgrave. „ R. Young. 

G. Smith. ,, Jno. Race. 

Jos. Middlemas. 

August, 1908, to August, 1909. 

Mr. Robert Young, President. 
R. Walton. Mr. J. Collinson. 

J. Sillett. ,, G. Smith. 

R. Emmerson. „ J. Jobson. 

R. Hook. ,, G. Hardy. 

G. Moore. ,, J. Mawson. 

J. Gardiner. 

August, 1909, to August, 1910. 

Mr. Ralph Walton, President. 
J. Sillett. Mr. J. Gardiner. 

W. Jackson. ,, Patrick Leonard. 

Rob. Bell. ,, T. Deighton. 

R. Hook. „ T. J. Wilson. 

G. Moore, ,, Henry Middlemas. 

R. Emmerson. 

August, 1910, to August, 1911. 

Mr. Thomas Winter, President. 
W. Jackson. Mr. S. A. Meddick. 

R. Bell. „ Vickers Bell. 

H. Middlemas. „ T. F. Robinson. 

P. Leonard. ,, G. Armstrong. 

T. J. Wilson. ,, W. Collier. 

T. Deighton. 

Oitr Society's History. 263 

COMMITTEES — Continued. 
August, 1911, to August, 1912. 

Mr. Thomas Wintek, J.P., President. 

Mr. T. Peaeson. Mr. W. Collier. 
Jos. MiDDLEMAs. ,, V. Bell. 

Joseph Wintee. ,, S. A. Meddick. 

T. Ellison. „ T. F. Robinson. 

Jno. Race. „ E. Robson. 

G. Akmstrong. 

August, 1912, to August, 1913. 

Mr. RoBEET Young, President. 
Mr. T. Pearson. Mr. Richaed Dawson. 

J. Wintee. ,, E. Robson. 


W. MusGRAVE. „ T. Ellison.- 

J. E. Gilliland. ,, J. Race. 

R. Hannant. 

August, 1913, to August, 1914. 

Mr. Robert Young, President. 

Mr. J. Sillett. Mr. Rd. Dawson. 
John Heneey. ., Emm. Dawson. 

G. Smith. „ John Aemstrong. 

W. MusGEAVE. „ Anth. Burnip. 

F. E. RuDKiN. ,, J. E. Gilliland. 
R. Hannant. 

August, 1914, to August, 1915. 

Mr. William Jackson, President. 

Mr. J. Sillett. Mr. Robeet Ryle. 

J. Henery. „ A. Burnip. 

G. Smith. „ E. Dawson. 
John T. Ainsley. ,, J. Armstrong. 
G. W. Dent. „ Jos. Robinson. 
Ralph Caygill. 

August, 1915. 

Mr. William Jackson, President. 

Mr. Rob. Ryle Mr. Jos. Robinson. 
G. W Dent. „ J. T. Ainsley. 

Jno. Stephenson. „ A. Pinnington. 

Jas. Pitzpatrick. ,, G. Armstrong, J.P 

R. Caygill. „ R. B. Wetheeald. 

Samuel Candler. 




Year ending. 





No. of 



£ ! 



June, 1866 






„ 1867 . . 






„ 1868 . . 






„ 1869 . . 






„ 1870 . 






„ 1871 . 






„ 1872 . 






„ 1873 . 






„ 1874 . 







„ 1875 . 







„ 1876 . 







„ 1877 . 







., 1878 . 







„ 1879 . 

. 14187 






„ 1880 . 

. 15537 






„ 1881 

. 20440 






„ 1882 . 

. 23974 






„ 1883 . 

. 28749 






„ 1884 . 

. 30765 






„ 1885 . 

. 37691 






., 1886 . 

. 41585 





„ 1887 . 






., 1888 . 







„ 1889 . 






„ 1890 . 






„ 1891 . 







„ 1892 . 







„ 1893 . 







„ 1894 . 







„ 1895 . 







„ 1896 . 







„ 1897 . 







„ 1898 . 







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„ 1901 . 

1 54605 






„ 1902 . 







„ 1903 . 







„ 1904 . 







„ 1905 . 







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„ 1907 . 







„ 1908 . 







„ 1909 . 







„ 1910 .. 







„ 1911 .. 





2 -J 


„ 1912 .. 







„ 1913 .. 







1914 . . 


1 86057 





„ 1915 .. 







3 1 924 091 514 970